Who speaks with a Jewish accent? According to whom? How and why do Jewish American writers inscribe a Jewish accent onto the printed page? This lecture will address the role of accent in Jewish American writing from Yiddish speaking immigrant writers to contemporary authors, from evasion to celebration. Among the authors whose works will be discussed with regard to a “Jewish voice” are Abraham Cahan, Mary Antin, Henry Roth, Art Spiegelman, Daniel Mendelsohn and Boris Fishman.
Hana Wirth-Nesher s a distinguished professor of English and American Studies at Tel Aviv University, and the founding director of the Goldreich Family Institute for Yiddish Language, Literature, and Culture at TAU. She is an expert on British and American fiction, modernism, and Jewish American writing, as well as the intersections of language and culture in Jewish literature. She is the author of Call it English: The Languages of Jewish American Literature, and most recently The Cambridge History of Jewish American Literature.
The Silvers Visiting Scholars Program is intended especially to engage an audience of Penn undergraduates, as well as faculty and community. This is the 21st Annual Silvers Visiting Scholar Program, endowed by David, C’71, and Patricia, CW’72, Silvers, and is co-sponsored with Penn’s Jewish Studies Program.