Agi Legutko Poland/NYC
“I Want to See You Dead: Women, Gender, and Sexuality in Yiddish Literature”
Early publications in Yiddish were addressed to “women and men who are like women,” while renowned Yiddish writer Sholem Aleichem created a myth of “three founding fathers” of modern Yiddish literature, which masked the existence of Yiddish women writers. As these examples illustrate, gender has played a significant role in Yiddish literary power dynamics. Women were essential to the rise of modern Yiddish literature as readers, publishers and writers. Moreover, Yiddish women writers boldly explored women’s status in society, gender dynamics, and sexuality in their writing. Come and learn about the fascinating works of Celia Dropkin, Anna Margolin, Kadya Molodowsky, Rokhl Korn, Malka Lee, and many others (and find out who wants to see whom dead). Dr. Agi Legutko teaches Yiddish language, literature, and culture at Columbia University, where she also directs the Yiddish Language Program. She specializes in dybbuks, women, gender, and sexuality, and modern Yiddish literature and culture, as well as memory, identity, performance and trauma. She is also an expert on the history of Jewish Krakow, her hometown, and Jewish life in today’s Poland. She authored a historical guidebook to the Jewish quarter of Krakow, “Krakow’s Kazimierz: Town of Partings and Returns” (2004, 2009) and several scholarly articles on dybbukpossession, women’s Yiddish poetry, and Jewish literature. She has lectured widely on Yiddish literature and culture, and the revival of Jewish life in Poland.