Harvard Professor Wisse on Flotilla, A-S, Yale +

July 6, 2011 at 8:12 am Leave a comment

Dear Friends, 

Professor Wisse, in her audio interview, gives us a compelling and more precise read on many issues including the flotilla, Israel, anti-Semitism and Yale. 

CLICK HERE to see the Jerusalem Post article, based on the interview and CLICK HERE to listen to the audio interview. 

Her biographical sketch appears below. 

Harriet and Bill

Ruth R. Wisse is the Martin Peretz Professor of Yiddish Literature and Professor of Comparative Literature at Harvard University
Wisse was born in Czernowitz in what is today Ukraine, but was then part of Romania. She grew up in Montreal, Canada and earned her PhD from McGill University in 1969. As a professor, Wisse has previously taught at McGill, Stanford, New York, Hebrew and Tel Aviv universities. While teaching at McGill, she developed a “pioneering” graduate program in Jewish studies.” 
She received one of the 2007 National Humanities Medals. The award cited her for “scholarship and teaching that have illuminated Jewish literary traditions. Her insightful writings have enriched our understanding of Yiddish literature and Jewish culture in the modern world.” 
She is a member of the Editorial Board of the Jewish Review of Books and a frequent contributor to Commentary. She dedicated her last book, Jews and Power, to the editor, Neal Kozodoy.
Following protests and Harvard University’s decision to cancel Marty Peretz‘s speech after Peretz wrote “Muslim life is cheap, especially to other Muslims”,Wisse condemned “Groupthink” at Harvard and defended Peretz, saying that “to wish that Muslims would condemn the violence in their midst is not bigotry but liberality. 
Ruth Wisse undertook the study of literature because it seemed to offer more information and experience than any other branch of knowledge. She moved from English into Yiddish and Comparative Literature for similar reasons. Yiddish might appear to be a minor literature, written as it is in the vernacular of a small people, the Jews, in only one of their several languages, and only since about the sixteenth century. Yet because Yiddish literature registers the personal and collective experience of much of European Jewry, and given that European Jews have been all too much at the center of modern history, Yiddish literature turns out to be exceptionally revealing, dramatic, original, and important. Its study has led Professor Wisse from an initial interest in The Shlemiel as A Modern Hero to a revised investigation of “the liberal betrayal of the Jews,” which is the subtitle of her latest book If I Am Not for Myself. In between she wrote A Little Love in Big Manhattan about two Yiddish poets in America, and edited a number of anthologies of Yiddish prose and poetry in translation.

Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

Two New Papers on Yale + List Scholarship, Advocacy, and Antisemitism at Yale

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