I am an Associate Professor of English and Judaic Studies at the University of Michigan, where I hold the Samuel Shetzer Chair in American Jewish Studies.
I study how Jewish culture has transformed as a result of its intense, sustained, partly harmonious, partly acrimonious dialogue with American culture. I ask, in other words, why American Jews express themselves in terms that differ so dramatically from Jews elsewhere and I look for answers by exploring the interaction between Jews and surrounding cultural and political discourses.
My research has focused specifically on topics such as the interaction between Jewish American writers and Transcendentalism; literary and cinematic responses to the Holocaust; Yiddish literary modernism; the uses of English in Yiddish literature; the prophetic turn in nineteenth-century American Jewish poetry; and the development of Jewish literary studies in the multiculturalist university.
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