Monday, November 20th
41st Annual William & Sadie Effron Lecture in Jewish Studies
“Litvaks in Love: The Making of a Modern Memoryscape”
Forty-first Annual William and Sadie Effron Lecture in Jewish Studies
David G. Roskies is the Sol and Evelyn Henkind Chair in Yiddish Literature and Culture and a professor of Jewish literature at The Jewish Theological Seminary. Since 2013, he has also served as the Naomi Prawer Kadar Visiting Professor of Yiddish Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Roskies was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2012.
Roskies is a cultural historian of Eastern European Jewry. A prolific author, editor, and scholar, he has published nine books and received numerous awards. In 1981, Roskies cofounded with Alan Mintz "Prooftexts: A Journal of Jewish Literary History," and served for seventeen years as editor in chief of the New Yiddish Library series, published by Yale University Press.
In Roskies’s view, Litvaks have a reputation of being humorless, elitist, and ascetic. They speak a funny Yiddish, season their gefilte fish with pepper instead of sugar, and prefer a book over a good meal. Seventy-five years after the destruction of Lita, Roskies challenges this stereotype using the stories of his Vilna-born mother and major Yiddish writers from the vast geocultural region called Lita. His lecture will navigate the poles of forbidden and sanctified love, opening a new vein of remembrance based on life instead of death.