Thursday, April 19, 2018 | 6 p.m.
Room 2-01A | Fordham Law School | 150 West 62nd Street | Lincoln Center | New York City

In this lecture, Shachar Pinsker, a scholar of Hebrew literature, will argue that coffeehouses anchored a silk road of modern Jewish culture. The lecture will uncover a network of interconnected cafes that were central to the modern Jewish experience in a time of migration and urbanization, from Odessa, Warsaw, Vienna, and Berlin to New York City and Tel Aviv. Drawing on stories, novels, and poems, newspaper articles, memoirs, archival documents, photographs, caricatures, and artwork, Pinsker will show how Jewish modernity was born and nourished in the cafe before it was sent out into the world by way of print, politics, literature, art, and theater. What was experienced and created in the space of the coffeehouse touched thousands who read, saw, and imbibed a modern culture that redefined what it meant to be a Jew in the world.  Pinsker’s work incorporates DH mapping, network analysis, and digital writing tools such as Scalar.

Shachar Pinsker is associate professor of Hebrew literature and culture at the University of Michigan. He is the author of Literary Passports: The Making of Modernist Hebrew Fiction in Europe, which won the 2011 Jordan Schnitzer Book Award from the Association for Jewish Studies. He the editor of Where the Sea and Earth Meet: Israeli Stories in Yiddish (2016) and Meager Gifts from Desert Islands: Women’s Hebrew Poetry on American Shores (2016), and the co-editor of Hebrew, Gender, and Modernity (2007). He has published numerous articles dealing with Hebrew, Jewish, and Israeli literature and culture. His most recent book, A Rich Brew: Urban Cafés and Modern Jewish Culture, will be published in April.

This is a joint event of Jewish Studies Program and the Department of Comparative Literatures.

For more information, contact Magda Teter at 347-364-3472 or

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