On February 7, 2023, Professor Yitzhak Lewis (Duke Kunshan) and two of his undergraduate research assistants, Yongkang Chen and Eldar Wang, gave an overview of their research project “100 Years of Yiddish Literature in China” to our spring 2023 class, Mapping Jewish Modernism. The recording of the event is available here.
Yitzhak Lewis is Assistant Professor of Humanities at Duke Kunshan University. His research interests include comparative literature in Hebrew, Spanish and Yiddish, literary theory, transnational writing, and world literature. He is author of A Permanent Beginning: R. Nachman of Braslav and Jewish Literary Modernity (SUNY Press, 2020). His current book project, titled, Games of Inheritance: Kabbalah, Tradition and Authorship in the Writing of Jorge Luis Borges, explores the central role of Jewish literary traditions in the writings of Argentine author Jorge Luis Borges.
Yongkang Chen is a senior student majoring in Global Cultural Studies, in the World Literature track, at Duke Kunshan University. His current work focuses on the representation of Holocaust memories in postwar literature, film, and photography. He is also interested in Eurasian cinema studies and the comparative study of the manifestation of humanity in war films between Western cinema and East Asian cinema. His favorite movies are The Lover and Hiroshima mon amour, and he has done research comparing representations of Asian masculinity and French femininity in these films.
Yongkang has worked as a student researcher in the project 100 Years of Yiddish Literature in China for the past two years. He searched for and translated Jewish literature in Chinese journals of the Republic of China era. Yongkang works with Chinese, English, German, and Japanese texts, and is currently applying to graduate programs in comparative literature, East Asian Studies, and Cinema Studies.
Eldar Wang is a senior student at Duke Kunshan University, majoring in Global Culture Studies–World Literature. An author and translator, she has published the poetry collection Too Fond of Poetry: In the World (2021) and several book-length translations, including Paris France (CITIC Press, 2021) and National Geographic: History at a Glance (Phoenix Publishing House, 2023). Her research interests include modern Chinese literature with a focus on sexuality, the legacies of socialism, and the collective memory in twentieth-century China.
As a research assistant in the “100 Years of Yiddish Literature in China” project, she contributed to the archival research of Jewish literature in the Republican Era and initiated the data visualization of research findings. Currently, she is applying to graduate programs in East Asian Studies and Comparative Literature to further explore modern Chinese literature.
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