Symposium, October 2017

“Below the Line”? The Feuilleton and Modern Jewish Cultures

Book cover
Feuilletons by Theodor Herzl, translated into Hebrew by David Frishman (Warsaw, 1911)
  • Location: Frankel Center for Judaic Studies at the University of Michigan
  • Date: October 16, 2017
  • Organizers: Naomi Brenner and Shachar Pinsker

Heinrich Heine, Sholem Aleichem, Theodor Herzl, Vladimir Jabotinsky, Isaac Babel, Joseph Roth, Walter Benjamin, and Ilya Ehrenburg – all these are the names of Jewish writers during the 19th and early 20th centuries, who wrote feuilletons, often side by side with poems, novels, short stories, or philosophical and political works.

Does the fact that these prominent Jewish figures wrote feuilletons in Hebrew, Yiddish, German, Russian and Polish makes these feuilletons Jewish? Is feuilleton a Jewish genre? The feuilleton has been a critical genre in the development of modern Jewish cultures but it has been overlooked and undertheorized in both literary and historical studies. This symposium convenes a group of scholars to investigate the feuilleton and its connections to modern Jewish cultures.


Monday, October 16, 2017

10:15 am | Welcome
10:30 am-12:00 pm | Reflections on the Feuilleton
  • Chair: Jeffrey Veidlinger (University of Michigan)
  • Liliane Weissberg (University of Pennsylvania), “The Feuilleton and the Possibilities of German-Jewish Authorship and Literature”
  • Shachar Pinsker (University of Michigan), “How to Write Feuilleton in Hebrew? Journalism, Literature, and the Public Sphere”
  • Naomi Brenner (Ohio State University), “French Priests, Prostitutes and Villains: Translating the Roman-Feuilleton into Hebrew and Yiddish”
1:00-2:30 pm | Traveling Feuilletons
  • Chair: Anita Norich (University of Michigan)
  • Mikhail Krutikov (University of Michigan), “Vilna under German Military Rule, 1915-1918: Jewish Voices as the Occupiers and the Occupied”
  • Ofer Dynes (McGill University), “Connecting the Dots: The Heavy Duty of Light Literature in Interwar Poland”
  • William Runyan (University of Michigan), “Verse of the Moment: The Yiddish Rhymed Feuilleton”
3:00-4:30 pm | Feuilletonists
  • Chair: Maya Barzilai (University of Michigan)
  • Ela Bauer (Kibbutzim College in Tel Aviv), “To Observe, to Chat, or to Influence? The Tasks of the Feuilletons According to Nahum Sokolow”
  • Brian Horowitz (Tulane University), “The Feuilleton and Jabotinsky’s Political Education: What Role Can a Genre Have in the Making of a Political Radical?”
  • Johannes von Moltke (University of Michigan), “Ex kino lux: Siegfried Kracauer’s Weimar Era Film Criticism in the Frankfurter Zeitung”
4:45-5:45 pm | Roundtable Discussion