The Jewish Question in 20th Century Literature
Chair: Rebecca Abrams
Racial and religious prejudice, persecution and the complexities of assimilation, forced 19th and 20th century writers and thinkers such as Kafka, Proust, Zweig, Némirovsky and Roth, to confront their Jewish identities in profound and often controversial ways. Our panel, writer George Prochnik, Professor Susan Suleiman, and curator of European collections at the NLI, Stefan Litt, elucidate.
Sponsored by the National Library of Israel
Stefan Litt is an archival expert at the National Library of Israel, where he is in charge of European language holdings. He was Visiting Professor at the universities of Erfurt and Duesseldorf in Germany and Graz in Austria, as well as Jerusalem and Bar-Ilan in Israel. He has published on the history of early modern European Jewry and on Jewish archival collections.
George Prochnik’s essays, poetry, and fiction have appeared in numerous journals. He has taught English and American literature at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, writes regularly for The New Yorker and is editor-at-large for Cabinet. He won the National Jewish Book Award for The Impossible Exile: Stefan Zweig at the End of the World.
Susan Rubin Suleiman is the C. Douglas Dillon Research Professor of the Civilization of France and Professor of Comparative Literature at Harvard. She is currently Acting Chair of Romance Language and Literatures. Born in Budapest, she is the recipient of many awards and fellowships and the author of numerous publications and books, including Crises of Memory and the Second World War.
Rebecca Abrams is an award-winning author of fiction and non-fiction, regular literary critic for the FT and author of The Jewish Journey: 4000 Years in 22 Objects from the Ashmolean Museum. Her first novel, Touching Distance, was highly praised by Hilary Mantel, shortlisted for the 2009 McKitterick Prize, and won the MJA Open Book Award for Fiction. She is a tutor on the Masters in Creative Writing at the University of Oxford and Writer-in-Residence at Brasenose College, Oxford.