Reb Zelmele's Courtyard: Mock Ethnography and the Soviet Jewish Imagination
Kaplan Cover
Sasha Senderovich, Aresty Visiting Scholar
Tuesday, March 5 at 11:30 a.m.
The Bildner Center, 12 College Avenue

Respondent: Professor Carol J. Avins
Departments of Department of Germanic, Russian, and 
East European Languages and Literatures

Soviet Yiddish writer Moyshe Kulbak's interwar novel The Zelmenyaners describes the travails of a Jewish family in Minsk that is torn asunder by the new Soviet reality. Four generations are depicted in riveting and often uproarious detail as they face the profound changes brought on by the demands of the Soviet regime. The resultant intergenerational showdowns, including disputes over the introduction of electricity, radio, and electric trolley, are rendered with humor, pathos, and a finely controlled satiric pen. The seminar will consider the novel in the context of its original serialization in 1929-1935 in the periodical press, and explore the novel's central setting - the courtyard - as a site subject to political, cultural, ethnographic, and literary negotiations of the period.

Messianic Jews and the Growing Challenge of Hybridity in Contemporary Jewish Identity and Culture
Yaakov Ariel, University of North Carolina
Tuesday, April 9, 2013 at 11:30 a.m.
The Bildner Center, 12 College Ave

Respondent: Professor Jeffrey Shandler
Department of Jewish Studies, Rutgers University

Please RSVP to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 732-932-2033.