Global Haskalah: Jewish Cultural Modernity, Translation, and World Literature


Frederick Burkhardt Residential Fellowships for Recently Tenured Scholars


Comparative Literature


For residence at the Institute for Advanced Study, School of Historical Studies during academic year 2019-2020


What did it mean to be a Jewish writer in nineteenth-century Odessa, Calcutta, Warsaw, or Tunis? How did intellectuals across such vastly diverse locales exchange ideas and impart shared visions of modernity to their readers? Exploring these questions through the prism of world literature scholarship, “Global Haskalah” maps the transversals of Jewish cultural modernity. The project is the first study of the Jewish enlightenment (Haskalah) to integrate Judeo-Arabic, Ladino, Hebrew, and Yiddish. It follows the transregional circulation of key literary texts and their translation into multiple Jewish languages, revealing patterns of reciprocal influence. Linking emergent Jewish modernity in East and West, the project forges a capacious and comprehensive understanding of the Haskalah as a global rather than European movement.