People

Project Staff

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Naomi Brenner is Associate Professor of Hebrew and Jewish Culture at the Ohio State University. Her work focuses on issues of multilingualism, circulation and translation in modern Jewish literature and culture. She has published Lingering Bilingualism: Modern Hebrew and Yiddish Literatures in Contact (Syracuse University Press, 2016) as well as a variety of articles on translation, women’s writing and intersections between Hebrew and Yiddish. Her current project examines the emergence of popular fiction in Jewish literatures. She became interested in the feuilleton as a key site for popular fiction, as Jewish-language periodicals imitated and translated popular European roman-feuilletons during the second half of the nineteenth century. She has worked extensively on the press and modern Jewish literatures, and has argued in several articles that literary texts must be analyzed in the context of the newspapers and periodicals in which they were originally published.


Ofer Dynes is an Assistant Professor in the Program of Yiddish Studies as well as in the Department of Jewish History and Contemporary Jewry at the Hebrew University. His field of expertise is the cultural history of Eastern European Jewry between the eighteenth and the twentieth century. Prior to his appointment at the Hebrew University, he was the Ethel Flegg Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Jewish Studies at McGill University. In September 2016, he earned a PhD with distinction from Harvard University. He is currently completing a book manuscript, entitled The Fiction of the State: The Polish Partitions and the Beginning of Modern Jewish Literature (1772–1848).


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Matthew Handelman is Associate Professor of German and a member of the Core Faculty in the Digital Humanities at MSU. His research interests include German-Jewish literature and philosophy in the early twentieth century, the intersections of science, mathematics and culture in German-speaking countries, as well as the digital humanities and the history of technology. His first book, The Mathematical Imagination: On the Origins and Promise of Critical Theory appeared with Fordham University Press in 2019. It explores the underdeveloped possibilities of mathematics for critical theory, focusing on how mathematics helped Gershom Scholem, Franz Rosenzweig, and Siegfried Kracauer navigate the intellectual crises facing German Jews during the Weimar Republic. He has worked extensively on the feuilleton of the Frankfurter Zeitung as a forum that shaped German-Jewish intellectual identity. He is currently interested in the technological aspects of the feuilleton as a means of shaping politics and aesthetics in early 1930s Germany.


Shachar Pinsker is a Professor of Judaic Studies and Middle East Studies at the University of Michigan. He held visiting professor positions at Harvard, Tel Aviv, Ben Gurion, and the Hebrew University. He is the author of A Rich Brew: How Cafés Created Modern Jewish Culture (NYU Press, 2018), a finalist for the 2018 Jewish Book Award, and of Literary Passports: The Making of Modernist Hebrew Fiction in Europe (Stanford University Press, 2011), the winner of the 2011 Jordan Schnitzer Book Award from the Association for Jewish Studies. He the editor of Women’s Hebrew Poetry on American Shores (Wayne State University Press, 2016), and the co-editor of Hebrew, Gender, and Modernity (University of Maryland Press, 2007). He the editor of Where the Sky and the Sea Meet: Israeli Yiddish Stories (Magnes Press, forthcoming), and is currently writing a book on Yiddish in Israeli literature. His articles appeared in journals such as Jewish Social StudiesProoftexts, and Poetics Today.


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Nick Underwood is currently a research fellow at the Frankel Institute for Advanced Judaic Studies at the University of Michigan. In prior years, he has been a Visiting Fellow in the History of Migration at the German Historical Institute West and Postdoctoral Fellow at the Institute of European Studies at the University of California, Berkeley, and a Visiting Scholar at the Simon Dubnow Institute for Jewish History and Culture at Leipzig University. He has taught at Sonoma State University, Napa Valley College, and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He earned his Ph.D. at the University of Colorado Boulder in modern European and Jewish history in 2016 and his first book manuscript is titled Yiddish Paris: Staging Nation and Community in Interwar France. His articles have appeared in Jewish Social StudiesFrench Politics, Culture & SocietyEast European Jewish AffairsUrban History; and Archives Juives. He also serves as managing editor for the journals American Jewish History and East European Jewish Affairs and is project manager for the digital humanities consortium the Digital Yiddish Theatre Project.