Tyler J. Kliem is an undergraduate student and emerging scholar in the University of Pennsylvania’s College of Arts & Sciences and Stuart Weitzman School of Design, pursuing dual B.A.s in Comparative Literature and Design respectively. Previously, he sought academic coursework in Yiddish at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, the Oxford School of Rare Jewish Languages at the University of Oxford, and at Camp Kinder Ring through The Workers Circle. His areas of specialization include editorial design; literary translation; the avant-garde; narrative history; typography; Yiddish art & design; Yiddish language, literature, and culture; and Yiddish print culture. For his prodigious study of Yiddish and the arts at Penn, Kliem was awarded The Workers Circle/Der Arbeter Ring Prize from the Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures (2021), the Pincus Fellowship from Penn Hillel (2021), the Charlotte Yiddish Institute Book Prize from the Jewish Studies Program (2021, 2022), the Philip E. Goldfein Scholarship Award from the Jewish Studies Program (2022), and the RealArts@Penn Prize from the Center for Programs in Contemporary Writing (2023).
In the summer of 2023, Kliem conducted an artist-in-residence program at The Jewish Museum, in addition to a research assistantship at the Princeton Geniza Lab. In the summer of 2022, he was a digital librarian intern at the Yiddish Book Center, where he also studied Yiddish at an intermediate level.
With a concentration in (trans)national literatures in the Program in Comparative Literature & Literary Theory, Kliem has researched the Yiddish avant-garde of 1920s Eastern Europe—specifically its Jewish aesthetics and migration to the intellectual centers of Berlin and Paris—with Dr. Kathryn Hellerstein of the Jewish Studies Program. In 2022, he was awarded an undergraduate research fellowship with the Wolf Humanities Center to conduct this work, culminating in research presentations at the 2022–2023 Wolf Humanities Forum Research Conference and the 2022–2023 Jewish Studies Program Honors Research Symposium. Since 2022, his translations, written pieces, and artwork have appeared in In geveb: A Journal of Yiddish Studies, the University of California, Berkeley’s Vagabond Multilingual Journal, and Verklempt!. In 2023, Kliem independently designed and published a fanzine of Holocaust survivor Rywka Braun-Nyman z”l’s poetry, titled “Lost Homeland: Poems of Pain.” During his internship with the Jewish Museum, Kliem also independently published and designed a fanzine of poetry from Malka Locker z”l, titled “Cities: Selected Poems.” Kliem also created artwork for the Philomathean Society’s spring 2023 exhibition, “The Opium Diaries: A Jean Cocteau Retrospective,” which received certain praise from Dr. Cornel West, scholar and candidate for the 2024 U.S. presidential election.
At Penn, Kliem has also made involvements in 34th Street Magazine and The Daily Pennsylvanian (“The DP”) as Design Editor on the 138th Board of Editors and Managers, where he won an Honorable Mention for the Pinnacle Award in Best Newspaper Sports Page/Spread Design at the 2022 National College Media Convention. Since the fall of 2022, he has served as the DP’s inaugural Senior Crosswords Editor with the support of an Eric Jacobs Scholarship Award. In the spring of 2023, Kliem began creative direction and editorial design for The Woodlands Magazine, which was awarded a 2023 Student Grant Award from The Sachs Program for Arts Innovation. Kliem is also an active member in the Delta Zeta chapter of Alpha Phi Omega, an international service fraternity, where he has served in various leadership capacities.
Beginning in the fall of 2023, Kliem will be conducting two undergraduate theses on modern Yiddish typography and the Yiddish avant-garde. With the intention of connecting students of comparative literature at Penn, he will also assume the inaugural presidency of the Penn Comparative Literature Advisory Board (CLAB), in addition to the editorship of CLAB’s literary magazine, the Zelosophic. He will also be joining New Voices Magazine and Ayin Press as a 2023–2024 Jewish Media Fellow. He is also now a Research Peer Advisor (RPA) under the auspices of the Center for Undergraduate Research and Fellowships. After graduation in the spring of 2024, Kliem plans to pursue advanced study in modernist Yiddish literature and art, with the hopes of becoming a professor.
Since his first day at Penn, Kliem has been a welcoming student worker in the Department of English’s office, for which he received the 2022 Best Undergraduate Student Service Award. He is the academic advisee of Dr. Julia Alekseyeva, Assistant Professor of English and Cinema and Media Studies.