The Yiddish term do’ikayt (meaning literally „hereness”) is used to describe aspects of Diaspora Nationalism and National Cultural Autonomy, two related political ideologies that were popular among Jewish socialists and Yiddishists in the early twentieth century in Europe. The idea of do’ikayt is especially associated with the Bund (algemeyner yidisher arbeter bund) in interwar Poland and its efforts to build Jewish political activism and community through education, culture, and health. Madeleine Cohen uses this term to describe a related trend in Yiddish literature, in which representation of specific spaces of Jewish life participate in the political project to establish a strong Yiddish cultural identity rooted in the territories of Central and Eastern Europe. This lecture will introduce the concept of do’ikayt and look at the example of Alter Kacyzne’s novel, Shtarke un shvakhe (The Strong and the Weak), about a wide spectrum of Jewish life in Warsaw immediately before, during, and after World War One.
Madeleine Cohen received her PhD in Comparative Literature with a designated emphasis in Jewish Studies from the University of California, Berkeley in 2016. Her research focuses on modern Yiddish literature, history, and politics. This year she has been the Preceptor in Yiddish at Harvard University and in the fall she will start as the Director for Translation and Collections Initiatives at the Yiddish Book Center in Amherst, Massachusetts. Madeleine is also the Editor-in-Chief of In geveb: A Journal of Yiddish Studies.
The seminar will take place on 5 June, 11 a.m. in a meeting room located in the Blue Tower (entrance from Tłomackie Street).
Seminarium w języku angielskim.