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Ethnographers between Yiddish and Polish: A Study in Intellectual History

Hosted By: YIVO

This lecture will present profiles of Chaim Chajes and Daniel Fajnsztejn, key figures in the early research program of YIVO’s Ethnographic Commission and the Polish-Jewish cultural borderland. Their contributions to modern ethnography, nearly erased by the Holocaust and their dual cultural affiliations, will be explored. The lecture is based on research conducted with Prof. Anna Engelking.

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Karolina Szymaniak

Karolina Szymaniak is Assistant Professor at the Jewish Historical Institute in Warsaw, Poland, and in the Taube Department of Jewish Studies at the Wroclaw University. She is a researcher, editor, translator, and language instructor with a Ph.D. in literary and cultural studies. Her book on the Polish-Yiddish modernist writer Debora Vogel was published in 2006 in Poland. She co-edited: Warsaw Yiddish Avant-garde (2005), Dialogue of Poets (2011), Montages. Debora Vogel and the New Legend of the City (2017), and My wild goat. Anthology of women Yiddish poets (2019). She is the editor of Rachel Auerbach's ghetto writings, which received the 2016 Polityka History Award. Karolina's profile is featured in Nurith Aviv's 2020 documentary Yiddish.
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The YIVO Institute for Jewish Research is dedicated to the preservation and study of the history and culture of Eastern European Jewry and Yiddish language.
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