Penn Arts & Sciences Logo

Jewish Women Writers

ENGL 591.401
Thursdays 3:30-5:30 pm

“Jewish Women Writers” is a graduate seminar also open to advanced undergraduates. Based in the Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures, this course is cross-listed with Comparative Literature, English, and Jewish Studies.

The seminar will consider works by Jewish women who wrote in Yiddish, Hebrew, English, and other languages in the late 19th through the 20th century. The texts, poetry and prose, will include both belles lettres and popular writings, such as journalism, as well as private works (letters and diaries) and devotional works.

The course will attempt to define “Jewish writing,” in terms of language and gender, and will consider each writer in the context of the aesthetic, religious, and national ideologies that prevailed in this period.

Because students will come with proficiency in various languages, all primary texts and critical or theoretical materials will be taught in English translation. However, those students who can, will work on the original texts and share with the class their expertise to foster a comparative perspective. Because we will be discussing translated works, a secondary focus of the course will, in fact, be on literary translation’s process and products.

The syllabus will likely select works by some of the following writers, as well as by others , perhaps suggested by the students:
Miriam Ulinover, Roza Yakubovitch, Celia Dropkin, Anna Margolin, Rokhl Korn, Dvore Fogel, Kadya Molodowsky, Malka Heifetz Tussman
Hebrew: Esther Raab,Yocheved Bat Miriam, Dahlia Ravikovitsh, Yona Wallach
English: Mina Loy, Adrienne Rich, Irena Klepfisz, Linda Zisquit, Jacqueline Osherow, Shirley Kaufman,
German: Elsa Lasker-Schueller
Yiddish: Sarah Hamer-Jacklyn, Esther Singer Kreitman, Rokhl Brokhes, Fradl Shtok, Malka Lee, Kadya Molodowsky, Chava Rosenfarb, Blume Lempel, Rikuda Potash
Hebrew: Dvorah Baron, Esther Ra’ab, Amalia Kahana-Carmon
English: Anzia Yezierska, Edna Ferber, Cynthia Ozick, Leah Vincent, Pearl Abraham, etc.

fulfills requirements