Sandra Chiritescu
Department of Germanic Languages - Yiddish Studies

Sandra is a PhD candidate in Yiddish Studies at Columbia University where she is also pursuing certificates in Comparative Literature and Gender Studies. When she isn’t teaching Yiddish or processing archival materials at Columbia’s Rare Books and Manuscript Library, she works on translation projects, such as the Yiddish children’s stories in the volume In the Land of Happy Tears (Penguin Random House, 2018). She is also a research assistant for the YIVO Bruce and Francesca Cernia Slovin Online Museum and an editorial board member of In Geveb: A Journal of Yiddish Studies.

Sandra’s dissertation project – tentatively titled Yiddish Traces in American-Jewish Feminism? English and Yiddish Life-Writing 1970-present – explores Jewish women’s writing during second- and third-wave feminism with a focus on gendered modes of personal writing, such as memoirs and essays, in American literature in Yiddish and English. She explores how authors of English-language works – as second-generation immigrants – implicitly or explicitly draw on a Yiddish cultural archive in their negotiations of hyphenated Jewish-feminist identities. Such a juxtaposition of American-Yiddish and American-Jewish feminist literature challenges the current understanding of Jewish-inflected secular feminism, Jewish womanhood, and gendered Jewishness as it emerges in the American postwar period. Her dissertation combines readings of marginal Yiddish authors with more canonical works of second-wave feminism thus challenging monolithic and monolingual understandings of American-Jewish feminist literature.

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