OBS! All the information from the folkhögskola will be sent in Swedish.
What is it about?
This course aims at presenting and discussing the works of extraordinary Jewish writers, thinkers, philosophers and activists. Among authors the course wishes to engage with are writers that have been discussed during the course inaugurated in September 2020 and expand on their works as well as to introduce new writers. Among writers that will be revisited are Dvora Baron, Anna Margolin, Malka Heifetz Tussman, Rachel, Leah Goldberg, Irena Klepfisz, or Kadia Molodowski and Khana Levin. Moreover the course will introduce many other names such as Debora Vogel, Rachel, Zelda, Else Lasker Schuler, Agi Michol, as well as Irit Amiel, Rukhl Fishman and others.
They are writers active both before and after WWII and from Europe, Israel and America as well as writing originally in Yiddish, Hebrew or English, or other languages (like Russian and Polish).
Language(s): All classes will be held in English and the reading will be preliminary in English and (if available) in Swedish (as well as in the original language).
Among the aims of the course is to learn about Jewish women’s literary heritage and to enjoy discussion about literature in various contexts, so apart from taking a role of the literary critics and informed readers, who will often use the feminist perspective, we will – at times – need to be historians, trying to understand ideological contexts of the works, at times – we will be the religious scholars, seeking the doctrinal contexts of the texts, or – at times – political commentators, using also the thought of philosophers like Hannah Arendt or Susan Sontag.
Among the main key concepts that are relevant to all the sessions are: women’s history and Jewish history (herstories), the Jewish women’s voices in the 20th-century literature, women’s Jewish literature from various part of the world, the intertwinement of politics and private life, happiness and struggle through songs, poetry, short stories, novels and intellectual debates.
Ultimately, the main aims of the course are:
- to present selected women writers with background of historical contexts, intellectual milieu, personal circumstance and the most contemporary receptions;
- to enjoy literary discussion;
- and to analyse the works from the present perspective and to evaluate its relevance to the contemporary readers.
Course website (always expanding on the weekly basis): https://jewishwomenswriting.weebly.com
To register for this course, you need basic computer skills and knowledge of how to use the digital platform Zoom. The school offers manuals in welcome letters upon acceptance and a training opportunity before the start of the course.
About the teacher
Urszula (Ula) Chowaniec, Ph.D. is a lecturer (dr hab.) at the Andrzej Frycz-Modrzewski Cracow Academy in Poland and the Research Fellow at University College London. An Amos Oz Fellow at Paideia (2019-2020). She is an author of a monograph Melancholic Migrating Bodies in Contemporary Women’s Writing (2015) and In Search for a Woman: Early Novels of Irena Krzywicka, Kraków 2007. She also edited and contributed to Women’s Voices and Feminism in Polish Cultural Memory (2012), Mapping Experience on Polish and Russian Women’s Writing (2010), Masquerade and Femininity. Essays on Polish and Russian Women Writers (2008).
She teaches among other course: Contemporary Polish Women’s Writing; Gender and Body Politics in Literature and Film (Eastern-European Perspectives); Eastern Europe Through the Literary Nobel Prize Winners. Currently, she lives in Stockholm. Academic site: https://cudzoziemki.weebly.com