NOTE: All information from the folkhögskola will be sent in Swedish.
DAUGHTERS AND MOTHERS – MOTHERS AND CHILDREN IN YIDDISH LITERATURE IN TRANSLATION (ONLINE)
The themes of mothers and children, with stress on mother-daughter relations, are at the core of the Autumn course on Yiddish Literature in translation with Prof. Ula Urszula Chowaniec.
The course offers a reading list of short stories, excerpts from novels and poems that deal with family relations as a mirror of the social, geopolitical and family changes from the modernist time to contemporary literature.
This course aims at presenting and discussing the works of extraordinary Jewish writers, thinkers, philosophers and activists. The course invites the participants to engage with many authors such as Sholem Aleichem and Kadia Molodowski, Anna Margolin and Malka Lee, IL Peretz and Debora Vogel, Rachel and Leah, as well as Irena Klepfisz, 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).
The course is given in English, and the reading will be preliminary in English and, if available, in Swedish as well as in Yiddish.
The course is given in collaboration with Jiddischsällskapet i Stockholm och Paideia – The European Institute for Jewish Studies in Sweden.
Among the aims of the course is to learn about Yiddish and Jewish literary heritage and to enjoy discussion about literature in various contexts, so apart from taking the 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.
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 20th-century literature, women’s Jewish literature from various parts 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 a background of historical contexts, intellectual milieu, personal circumstances and the most contemporary receptions.
- enjoy literary discussion.
- analyze the works from the present perspective and to evaluate their relevance to contemporary readers.
No prior knowledge in the subject is required to join the course and participate in the discussion. To apply for this course, you need basic computer skills and knowledge of how to use the digital platform Zoom. The school offers Zoom manuals and a training opportunity before the start of the course.
Extra costs for literature, that you purchase yourself, may be applicable for this course.
About the teacher
Urszula (Ula) Chowaniec, Ph.D. is a professor (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 the author of the monograph “Melancholic Migrating Bodies in Contemporary Women’s Writing” (2015) and “In Search for a Woman: Early Novels of Irena Krzywicka” (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), and “Masquerade and Femininity. Essays on Polish and Russian Women Writers” (2008).
She teaches among other courses: 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 side: https://cudzoziemki.weebly.com
Photo: Collage by Urszula Chowaniec. Photo from the recoding “My Yiddishe Momme” and Gertruda Berg as Yiddishe Momme.