Previous Graduate Student Work

Work by recent Ph.D.'s and advanced graduate students has focused on areas as diverse as Yiddish literary criticism and history, American Jewish social and cultural history, and intellectual currents among Eastern European Jews. Recent graduates from the program, their research topics, and their current employment, include:


Jessica Kirzane

Ph.D. 2017, “The Melting Plot: Interethnic Romance in Jewish American Fiction in the Early Twentieth Century”

Lecturer in Yiddish, University of Chicago


Yuri Vedenyapin

Ph.D. 2016, “In the Privacy of One’s Own Homelessness: The Search for Identity in Twentieth-Century Yiddish Travelogues”

Lecturer in Yiddish, McGill University, Montreal, Canada.


Adi Mahalel

Ph.D. 2014, “The Radical Years of I.L. Peretz”

Visiting Assistant Professor of Yiddish Studies, University of Maryland


Agi Legutko

Ph.D. 2012, with distinction, “Possessed by the Other: Dybbuk Possession and Modern Jewish Identity in Twentieth-Century Jewish Literature and Beyond”

Lecturer in Yiddish & Director of the Yiddish Language Program, Columbia University


Sarah Ponichtera

Ph.D. 2012, “Yiddish and the Avant-Garde in American Jewish Poetry”

Assistant Dean for Special Collections and the Gallery at Seton Hall University Library


Samuel Spinner

Ph.D. 2012, “Jews Behinds Glass: The Ethnographic Impulse in German-Jewish and Yiddish Literature, 1900-1948”                                                                               

Assistant Professor, Tandetnik Chair in Yiddish Language, Literature, and Culture, Johns Hopkins University


Alyssa Masor

Ph.D. 2011, “The Evolution of the Literary Neo-Hasid”                                               

Public Health Advisor, New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene


Naomi Prawer Kadar (1949-2010)

Ph.D. 2007, “Far Di Kinders Vegn: Yiddish Periodicals for American Children, 1917-1950” 

Adjunct Assistant Professor, Jewish Theological Seminary


Rebecca Margolis

Ph.D. 2005, “Yiddish Literary Culture in Montreal, 1905-1940”

Associate Professor in the Vered Jewish Canadian Studies Program, University of Ottawa, Canada


Marc Miller

Ph.D. 2005, “The Poetics of the Immigrant Experience: Morris Rosenfeld’s Sweatshop Poetry”


Beatrice Lang Caplan

Ph.D. 2004, "Orthodox Yiddish Literature in Interwar Poland."

Lecturer in Yiddish, John Hopkins University


Keith Weiser

Ph.D. 2001, "The politics of Yiddish : Noyekh Prilutski and the Folkspartey in Poland, 1900-1926."

Associate Professor, Silber Family Chair in East European Jewry and Holocaust Studies, York University, Toronto, Canada


Bettina Warnke

Ph.D. 2001, "Reforming the New York Yiddish theater : the cultural politics of immigrant intellectuals and the Yiddish press, 1887-1910."                                                       

Assistant Dean of the Martha Rivers Ingram Commons, Vanderbilt University


Ellen Kellman

Ph.D. 2000, "The newspaper novel in the Jewish Daily Forward, 1900-1940: fiction as entertainment and serious literature."

Assistant Professor and Lecturer in Yiddish, Brandeis University.


Jan Schwarz

Ph.D. 1997, "'When the lamp of art is made to shine through life's foolscap': a study of the Yiddish literary autobiography."

Senior Lecturer, Manager of Research and Research Education, Lund University, Sweden


Jeffrey Shandler

Ph.D. 1995, "While America watches: Television and the Holocaust in the United States, from 1945 to the present."

Chair and Professor of Jewish Studies, Rutgers University


Daniela Mantovan

Ph.D. 1993, "Der Nister and his symbolist short stories (1913-1929): Patterns of imagination."

Lecturer, Hochschule für Jüdische Studien Heidelberg


Ori Kritz

Ph.D. 1993, "The poetics of anarchy: David Edelshtat's revolutionary poetry."   

Professor of Hebrew Studies, University of Oklahoma


Andrew Sunshine

Ph.D. 1991, "Opening the mail: Interpersonal aspects of discourse and grammar in Middle Yiddish letters."

Assistant Dean, Columbia College, and Co-editor and Research Associate, The Language and Culture Atlas of Ashkenazic Jewry.


Delphine Bechtel

Ph.D.1990, “Der Nister’s Work 1907-1929: A Study of a Yiddish Symbolist”           

Professor of Germanic Studies, Sorbonne University