Adolph & Ruth Schnurmacher Scholar-in-Residence Lecture - "Fradl Shtok and Women Writing Jewish Modernity"

Date: 04-20-2023

Time: 07:30 PM

Location: DiMenna-Nyselius Library Auditorium 101

Allison Schachter is an associate professor of Jewish studies, English, and Russian and East European studies and the chair of the Department of Jewish Studies at Vanderbilt University. She is the author of Diasporic Modernisms: Hebrew and Yiddish Literature in the Twentieth Century, From the Jewish Provinces, and Women Writing Jewish Modernity, 1919–1939.

"Fradl Shtok and Women Writing Jewish Modernity"  What role did women play in the making of Yiddish literary modernity? We know too little about the women writers, artists, and intellectuals who participated in transforming Jewish culture in the twentieth century. The standard accounts of modern Yiddish literary history exclude women’s writing and experience. When women appear, they do so as poets, but not prose writers. This talk offers a counter history of modern Yiddish literature from the perspective of women, focusing on the life and work of the modernist writer, Fradl Shtok. Shtok was a well-regarded poet, who published a short story collection in 1919 and then mysteriously withdrew from Yiddish public life. Tracing her life story through archival records, and closely reading her literary work, I piece together a story of women’s artistic and literary lives in the first half of the twentieth century and offer a new account of Yiddish modernism. 

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