CFP: Critical Essays on Yiddish Women Writers

Rosemary Horowitz of the Department of English at Appalachian State University is looking for contributors to a volume on Yiddish Women Writers:

"At the start of the twentieth century, writings by women regularly appeared in Yiddish magazines, newspapers, and books. In 1939, Shmuel
Niger took stock of the state of Yiddish literature and noted the increasing importance of women writers. Specifically, he mentioned Ezra
Korman's anthology Yidishe dikhterins, a volume published in Chicago in 1928. Tragically, the annihilation of Jews in Eastern European Jews during the 1940s and in the Soviet Union during the 1950s decimated the Yiddish literary community and its readers. Then in 1953, when anthologies of Yiddish literature in English translation started to appear, those volumes primarily contained the work of male writers. That was the norm until 1980, when influenced by feminist scholars and activists, Norma Fain Pratt published the groundbreaking essay "Culture and Radical Politics: Yiddish Women Writers, 1890-1940" in the journal American Jewish History. Following that, in 1986, Irina Klepfisz and Melanie Kaye/Kantrowitz issued a call for translations of the work of women Yiddish writers. Around the same time, works by Yiddish women writers were the subject of increasing scholarly attention.

Currently, translations of short stories and poems by women may be found in such magazines as the Pakn-Treyger and Bridges. Translations of several novels are also available now. An example is Deborah by Esther Singer Kreitman. A few anthologies of translations have been published as well, including Found Treasures: Stories by Yiddish Women Writers and Arguing with the Storm: Stories by Yiddish Women Writers. Regarding scholarship, critical essays appear scattered throughout numerous periodicals, including Modern Language Quarterly and Canadian Jewish Studies.

However, there is still no collection of criticism focusing on Yiddish women writers in print. The proposed volume will help fill the gap in the scholarship. Toward that end, I am seeking proposals for essays on the work of women who wrote in Yiddish. Essays that deal with any literary genre from any theoretical perspective are welcome. Essays should be in English."

Please send a 250-300 word abstract by March 1, 2011 to