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At the Threshold: German-Yiddish Encounters and Missed Encounters in Weimar Berlin

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Berlin between the World Wars was a vibrant yet unstable cultural hub where German-Jewish writers crossed paths with Yiddish migrant writers. Did the meeting of so-called “Ostjuden” and “Westjuden" in Germany’s first fledgling democracy produce opportunities for cultural cross-fertilization, or did it amount to a missed encounter between two disconnected groups? This talk explores the role of Weimar Berlin as a “threshold” between exile and homeland in which “eastern” and “western” writers looked toward one another in their efforts to both cultivate new forms of artistic expression and negotiate national commitments.

Please note: This is an online event.

Cosponsored by YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, American Society for Jewish Music, and the Austrian Cultural Forum New York.

About the Speaker

Rachel Seelig

Rachel Seelig is a scholar of modern Jewish literature and freelance writer based in Toronto. She is the author of Strangers in Berlin: Modern Jewish Literature between East and West, 1919–1933 (University of Michigan Press, 2016) and the co-editor of The German-Hebrew Dialogue: Studies of Encounter and Exchange (De Gruyter Press, 2017). She has held teaching and research appointments at Harvard, Columbia, the University of Michigan, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and the University of Toronto, where she currently teaches in the Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures. Her non-academic writing can be found at www.rachelseelig.com

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