Zohar Weiman-Kelman will be discussing their recently published book, Queer Expectations: a Genealogy of Jewish Women’s Poetry (SUNY Press, 2018). Bringing together Jewish women’s poetry in English, Yiddish, and Hebrew from late nineteenth century through the 1970s, this talk will explore how Jewish women writers turned to poetry to write new histories. Developing “queer expectancy” as a conceptual tool for understanding how literary texts can both invoke and resist what came before, Weiman-Kelman demonstrates how poets push back against heteronormative imperatives of biological reproduction and inheritance, opting instead for connections that twist traditional models of gender and history. Looking backward in queer ways thus enables new histories to emerge, intervenes in a troubled present, and gives hope for unexpected futures.
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