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Miriam Udel, Ph.D.Associate Professor of Yiddish Language, Literature, and Culture


PhD, Harvard University, 2008


Teaching Fields: Modern Jewish literature, Yiddish culture

Miriam Udel received her Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from Harvard University in 2008, having begun teaching at Emory in 2007. Her dissertation focused on the ethics of speech and conversation in modernist fiction, and it concentrated equally on Yiddish and other literatures. Pieces of her dissertation have been published in Prooftexts: A Journal of Jewish Literary History and in a peer-reviewed festschrift for her graduate adviser, Arguing the Modern Jewish Canon, published by Harvard University Press. Udel is a Starr Fellow in Judaic Studies at Harvard's Center for Jewish Studies for academic year 2010-11, as well as a fellow of the Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture. During her fellowship year, she is working on a book called Exuberance in Nihilism in Modern Jewish Literature. This monograph considers the Jewish rejection of the European "Bildungsroman" and the literary forms that were adopted by Yiddish and other Jewish writers instead, particularly the picaresque.

Udel's research interests include Yiddish modernism and anti-modernism, the rise of the Yiddish novel, the relation between modern and classical Jewish literature, and American-Jewish literature.

Udel is also a passionate and devoted teacher, who offers a year-long Yiddish language course and alternates teaching courses about Yiddish literature and modern Jewish culture. In fall of 2009, her Yiddish language students founded A KLEYNE VELT!, the world's only all-Yiddish college a capella group. The group has performed for audiences both on campus and in the larger Atlanta community.


Recent Publications

"The Fables of Eliezer Shteynbarg and the Modernist Relocation of Ethics."Prooftexts: A Journal of Jewish Literary History, Winter 2007.

"Seductions and Disputations: Pseudo-dialogues in the Fiction of Isaac Bashevis Singer." Beyond the Modern Jewish Canon: Arguing Jewish Literature and Culture, A Festschrift in Honor of Ruth R. Wisse. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2008.