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22
nd
Annual
American Literature
Association’s Jewish
American & Holocaust
Literature Symposium
Nov. 13-15, 2016
The Betsy Hotel
South Beach, Florida
JAHLIT Directors:
Ezra Cappell
Holli Levitsky
A Message from the JAHLIT Directors
The directors of JAHLIT welcome international scholars of
Jewish American and Holocaust literature regardless of religious
affiliation, denomination, or area of scholarly expertise. Check our
website, www.jahlit.com, for future symposia information, special
announcements, and all conference forms. All proposals and registration
materials must be received by the first of September in order to secure a
place on our program.
Because this is a small symposium as opposed to a large
conference, participants are encouraged to participate in all of the
symposium activities and to regularly contribute to our roundtable
conversations. Papers may be informally presented or read. To ensure
that we keep on schedule and that there will be enough time for
discussion at the end of each panel, we ask that you limit your
presentation to fifteen minutes. Please note that unless otherwise
noted, all meetings will take place in The B-Bar (located at 1440 Ocean
Drive in The Betsy Hotel).
We encourage all JAHLIT members to make a donation towards
our recently established Founders Scholarship, named in honor of Alan
Berger, Gloria Cronin, and Dan Walden. Your donation will help
subsidize the conference fees for a graduate student or junior scholar,
thereby ensuring the continuity of the Society for the Study of Jewish
American and Holocaust Literature. All donations in any amount will be
gratefully accepted and acknowledged. We would like to thank the
following JAHLIT members for their generosity: Victoria Aarons, Jeffrey
Demsky, Sandy Marovitz, and Eric Sundquist, and other anonymous
donors. We are proud to announce that for 2016 we have awarded
Founders Scholarships to the following JAHLIT attendees: Erin
Coulehan, and Anthony Gus Cohen. JAHLIT members wishing to donate
to the Founders Scholarship should speak to the conference directors, or
you may send your check directly to LMU Jewish Studies. We are
pleased to announce a new JAHLIT scholarship opportunity: The
Bernard Malamud Scholar Award for a notable essay on any aspect of
Malamud’s work, which is sponsored by: Trinity University and The
Bernard Malamud Society. The first recipient of this annual award is
Matthew Wei.
All JAHLIT Participants are invited to attend The Betsy's 1st
Annual Yiddish Symposium, free of charge, in special arrangement with
the Plutzik Goldwasser Family Foundation. Please RSVP
to artsandculture@thebetsyhotel.com.
We are grateful for the support of The Betsy Hotel and its
philanthropic affiliates, PG Family Foundation, and The Betsy
Community Fund, in underwriting many aspects of the conference.
Lastly, we would like to thank the philanthropy, Arts, Culture, and
Education (PACE) team and the leadership of The Betsy-South Beach for
their tireless support of JAHLIT over the past seven years. We look
forward to our continued partnership.
Day One: Sunday, November 13
th
THE BETSY'S FIRST ANNUAL YIDDISH
SYMPOSIUM - ON THE BEACH
Presented with the Exile Studies Program at
Florida International University
9:00-
9:30 AM
Breakfast: Lox And Bagels at BLT in the lobby
of The Betsy Hotel (RSVP Required)
9:30-
10:45
AM
Session 1 Yiddish: The Language of Exile and
Survival
Samuel Marder, Distinguished orchestral musician,
Holocaust survivor, and author of Devils Among
Angels
11:00
AM-
12:00
PM
Session 2 The Enduring Power of Yiddish
Melody
Jason Calloway (cell0), Amernet Quartet of Florida
International University
Michael Klotz (violin), Amernet Quartet of Florida
International University
12:00-
1:00
PM
Break
A light lunch will be served
1:00-
2:15
PM
Session 3 Panel Discussion: Teaching
Yiddish in a Global Context
Riva Ginsburg, Florida Atlantic University
Miriam Hoffman, Columbia University
Henie Hajdenberg, University of Miami
2:15-
2:30 PM
Break
2:30-
3:45
PM
Session 4  Keynote Lecture By Acclaimed
Novelist and National Jewish Book Award
Winner
Steve Stern, Skidmore College: “A Poacher in
Yiddishland”
3:45-
4:00 PM
Break
4:00-
5:00
PM
Session 5 The World of our Fathers and
MothersScenes from Fiddler on the Roof
Heine Hajedenberg, University of Miami:
“Introduction to Fiddler on the Roof
Cast of Fiddler on the Roof, Directed by Dr. Giselle
Ellgaresta Rios, Barry University
5:00-
6:00 PM
Di Yiddish Vinkl: A Bissl Schnapps Oyf di
Roofdekk
6:00
7:00
Break
Dinner on your own
7:00-
9:00
PM
Session 5 The Nourishing Legacies of a
Vanished World
The World Was Ours! A Documentary Film,
Directed by Mira Jedwabnik Van Doren
Discussion with Alan Berger, Florida Atlantic
University and Edward Moran, Independent Scholar
Welcome to the 22
nd
Annual JAHLIT Conference:
Holli Levitsky and Ezra Cappell
9:00-
10:00
PM
Reception in the B-Bar of The Betsy Hotel
sponsored by The Betsy Foundation
Day Two: Monday, November 14
th
9:00-
10:00
AM
Session 1  Keynote Lecture
Alan Berger, Florida Atlantic University: “L’dor
vedor; Jeremy Dres, We Won’t See Auschwitz; A Third
Generation French Response to the Holocaust Legacy”
Victoria Aarons, Trinity University: “’In the end,
our history is our only patrimony’: Eduardo Halfon’s
Third-Generation Narratives of Discovery and Loss”
10:00 -
11:00
AM
Session 2 Remembering Elie Wiesel: A
Roundtable Discussion
Chair: Alan Berger, Florida Atlantic University
Victoria Aarons, Trinity University
Alan Berger, Florida Atlantic University
Sandor Goodhart, Purdue University
Asher Milbauer, Florida International University
David Patterson, University of Texas at Dallas
11:00
11:15
Break
11:15-
12:30
AM
Session 3 Jewish Memoirs
Chair: Ellen G. Friedman, The College of New Jersey
Annette Libeskind Berkovits, Independent Scholar:
“How Nachman Libeskind Survived the Nazis, Gulags,
and Soviet Communism”
Ellen G. Friedman, The College of New Jersey:
“The Seven, A Family Story”
Jessica Lang, Baruch College of The City University
of New York: “Fact and Fiction: the Story narrated in
Third Generation Memoir”
Ezra Cappell, University of Texas at El Paso:
“Memoirs of Leaving Orthodoxy”
12:30-
12:45
Break
12:45-
2:15 PM
Session 4 A ‘Lunch and Learn Salon’
Keynote Lecture
Steve Stern, Skidmore College: Going to
Heaven in the Flesh,” in the B-Bar at The Betsy
Hotel. (A Deli Lunch will be served)
2:15
2:30
Break
2:30-
3:30 PM
Session 5 Opposing Anti-Semitism in
American Culture
Chair: Jeffrey Demsky, San Bernardino Valley College
Stephen J. Whitfield, Brandeis University:
Fortune Fights Against Antisemitism
Jeffrey Demsky, San Bernardino Valley College: “A
Documented Concern: Archibald MacLeish and the
American Fight Against the Holocaust”
Edward Shapiro, Seton Hall University: “Music,
World War II, and American Jewish Identity”
3:30 -
4:30
PM
Session 6 Midrash and Pedagogy
Chair: Sandor Goodhart, Purdue University
Sol Neely, University of Alaska Southeast:
“Midrash and Social Justice
 Monica Osborne, Pepperdine University: “The
Midrashic Legacy
Sandor Goodhart, Purdue University: Teaching
Midrash at Purdue
4:30-
7:00
Dinner on your own
7:00-
8:30
PM
A Public Program
Leora Raikin, “Memories of Lithuania and Vilna”—
an Art Show and Conversation
The Art and Life of David Labkovski, Movie
Screening
The B-Bar at The Betsy Hotel
Complimentary Wine and Dessert will be served
Day Three: Tuesday, November 15
th
9:30-
10:45
AM
Session 7 The Holocaust in Jewish Literature
and Film
Chair: Hilene Flanzbaum, Butler University
Brittany Hirth, The University of Rhode Island:
“Family, Memory, Identity: Jonathan Safran Foer’s
Three Novels”
Gila Safran Naveh, University of Cincinnati: “Laszlo
Nemes’ Son of Saul: Wrestling with Holocaust
Representations
David Patterson, University of Texas at Dallas: Elie
Wiesel’s Chasidism as Key to his Literary Texts”
Hilene Flanzbaum, Butler University: “Nathan
Englander’s ‘Anne Frank’ and the Future of Jewish
America”
10:45-
11:00
Break
11:00-
12:00
AM
Session 8 Jewish American Literature I
Chair: Holli Levitsky, Loyola Marymount University
Matthew Wei, Shanghai Jiao Tong University,
China: “An Ethical Reading of Bernard Malamud”
 Paule Levy, University of Versailles, France: “To
forget about remembering: Contrasted Views of the
Holocaust in Saul Bellow’s Fiction”
Holli Levitsky, Loyola Marymount University:
"Images of Shit: The Painted Bird as a Study in
Excremental Aesthetics."
12:00-
12:15
Break
12:15-
1:45
PM
Session 9 A 'Lunch and Learn Salon’
Found in Translation: A Roundtable Discussion
Chair: Pablo Cartaya, Sierra Nevada College
Michel Hausmann, Miami New Drama
Miriam Hoffman, Columbia University
Paule Levy, University of Versailles, France
Edward Moran, Independent Scholar
Matthew Wei, Shanghai Jiao Tong University
A lunch of salad and sandwiches will be served
(Sponsored by The Knight Foundation and The Betsy
Hotel)
1:45
2:00
Break
2:00-
3:15
PM
Session 10 Jewish American Drama, Poetry,
and Music
Chair: Martin B. Shichtman, Eastern Michigan
University
Erin Coulehan, University of Texas at El Paso:
“Contemporary Interpretations of Shylock”
Anthony Gus Cohen, University of Texas at El Paso:
Reading Beyond Exile: Tehilim and Coping with
Diaspora in Emma Lazarus’ 'In Exile’”
Sheila Jelen, University of Maryland: “Thick
Translation: Maurice Samuel’s Hybrid Worlds”
Martin B. Shichtman, Eastern Michigan University:
“Remembering the Shoah in Popular Song: Leonard
Cohen, Indigo Girls, and Patty Griffin”
3:15-
3:30
Break
3:30
4:45
PM
Session 11  Jewish American Literature II
Chair: Benjamin Schreier, Pennsylvania State
University
Andrew Gordon, University of Florida: “Blood in
Bellow”
Nyusya Milman-Miller, Virginia Polytechnic
Institute and State University: Dostoyevsky in
Manhattan: Boris Fishman’s A Replacement Life as a
Crime Novel
Debra Shostak, The College of Wooster: “Philip
Roth’s Late Fathers”
Benjamin Schreier, Pennsylvania State University:
“Was John Updike a Jewish American Writer?”
4:45-
5:45
PM
Session 12 The Poetry and Prose of Hyam
Plutzik
Chair: Ezra Cappell: University of Texas at El Paso
Edward Moran, Independent Scholar: “Jewish
America Goes to War: The ‘Soldier Poetry’ of Hyam
Plutzik”
Holli Levitsky and Ezra Cappell: A Reading of
Selected Poems of Hyam Plutzikand a Presentation to
the Plutzik Family on behalf of JAHLIT
5:45-
6:00
Break
6:00-
7:00
PM
On the Roof Deck of The Betsy Hotel
JAHLIT Closing Reception, red and white
wine provided and a cash bar for mixed drinks.
7:00-
8:30
PM
Affinity Konar, Mischling, a reading by the
New York times Bestselling author followed by
a discussion with the writer
This event is sponsored by The Pace Program at The
Betsy Hotel, The Betsy Community Fund, PG Family
Foundation, & The Miami Jewish Film Festival
Adjourned until November 2017
Post-JAHLIT Event: Wednesday,
November 16
th
7:00-
9:00
PM
The Betsy, in partnership with the Israeli Consulate
of Miami, presents Israeli author and journalist, Sarit
Yishai-Levi, author of the bestseller, The Beauty Queen
of Jerusalem, winner of the Publishers Association's
Gold and Platinum Prizes (2014).
The Directors of JAHLIT would like to thank our home
institutions, Loyola Marymount University and the
University of Texas at El Paso, for their support of our
annual symposium.
We would also like to thank the following sponsor:
Additional information about JAHLIT’s 2016 Public Programs
Special program co-sponsors are The Betsy Community Fund, The PG Family
Foundation, One Book/One City, Exile Studies Certificate Program at Florida
International University, The City of Miami Beach, and The Betsy Hotel.
THE BETSY'S FIRST ANNUAL YIDDISH SYMPOSIUM
- ON THE BEACH Presented with the Exile Studies
Program at Florida International University. JAHLIT is
proud to partner with The Betsy Hotel PACE program to
present a pre-conference Yiddish Culture Program on Sunday,
November 13, 2016, from 9 AM to 9 PM. We invite JAHLIT
scholars to come to South beach early and participate in this
event.
Keynote Lecture Alan Berger, Florida Atlantic University:
“L’dor vedor; Jeremy Dres, We Won’t See Auschwitz; A
Third Generation French Response to the Holocaust
Legacy. Alan L. Berger occupies the Raddock Family Eminent
Scholar Chair for Holocaust Studies, the first Holocaust chair
established in the state of Florida, and is Professor of Judaic
Studies at Florida Atlantic University where he also directs the
Center for the Study of Values and Violence After Auschwitz.,”
Among his books are Crisis and Covenant: The Holocaust in
American Jewish Fiction, Judaism in the Modern World (Editor),
and Children of Job: American Second-Generation Witnesses to
the Holocaust, (Foreword by Elie Wiesel), the first systematic
study of American films and novels of children of Holocaust
survivors analyzing the psycho-social and theological legacy of
the Holocaust on the second generation.
Keynote Lecture Victoria Aarons, Trinity University: “’In
the end, out history is our only patrimony’: Eduardo
Halfon’s Third-Generation Narratives of Discovery and
Loss.” Victoria Aarons holds the O.R. & Eva Mitchell Endowed
Chair in Literature at Trinity University, where she teaches
courses on American Jewish and Holocaust literatures. Among
other titles, Victoria Aarons is the author of A Measure of
Memory: Storytelling and Identity in American Jewish Fiction
and What Happened to Abraham?: Reinventing the Covenant in
American Jewish Fiction, both of which received a Choice
Award for Outstanding Academic Book. Her work has appeared
in a number of scholarly journals, essay collections, and
reference works, including the two-volume compendium
Holocaust Literature: An Encyclopedia of Writers and Their
Work. Dr. Aarons is guest editor for a special issue of Philip
Roth Studies titled Philip Roth and Bernard Malamud: Texts of a
Relationship. She is on the editorial board of several scholarly
journals and was an invited scholar at the Conference in Honor
of Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel's 80th Birthday, hosted by Boston
University's Elie Wiesel Center for Judaic Studies, where she
spoke on "Bearing the Weight of History: Trauma and Narrative
Fragmentation."
A ‘Lunch and Learn Salon’ in the B-Bar of The Betsy Hotel
with novelist Steve Stern, Skidmore College: “Going to
Heaven in the Flesh. Steve Stern is the author of several
critically-acclaimed novels and collections of stories, including
The Book of Mischief, The Frozen Rabbi, and The Wedding
Jester, for which he won the National Jewish Book Award. He
teaches at Skidmore College in upstate New York.
A Public Program--Leora Raikin: Memories of Lithuania
and Vilna Art Show and Conversation. The Art and Life of
David Labkovski, Movie Screening in The B-Bar at The Betsy
Hotel. Leora Raikin will discuss her uncle, David Labkovski, the
late Lithuanian-Israeli artist who survived a Siberian prison for
eight years by becoming the resident tattoo and sketch artist for
extra scraps of food. Raikin will present and discuss his artwork,
which includes depictions of pre-war Jewish life in Vilna, his
time in the Siberian prison, and images recounted by Holocaust
survivors living in Lithuania after World War II.
A 'Lunch and Learn Salon’ Found in Translation, This
roundtable discussion will focus on themes and issues of cultural
and textual translation. This panel is underwritten by The Knight
Foundation and The Betsy Hotel.
The Poetry and Prose of Hyam Plutzik. Examining Hyam
Plutzik’s poetry and prose, this panel explores the ethical and
spiritual dilemma facing Jewish intellectuals on the eve of World
War II: how to reconcile humanistic ideals with the pressing
reality of responding to Nazi aggression. The year 2016 marks
the 75th anniversary of the entry by the US into World War II
(December 1941). It also marks the 75th anniversary of Hyam
Plutzik’s soul-baring letter to his Trinity College mentor, the
philo-Semite Odell Shepard (published by Trinity this year
as Letter from a Young Poet). The letter reveals the moral
anguish the 29-year-old Plutzik (and many of his peers) were
experiencing during the summer and fall of 1941, and shows
how a new Jewish American identity was forged by his
generation.
A reading and book signing by Affinity Konar, author of the
New York Times bestselling novel, Mischling. Affinity Konar
was raised in California. While writing MISCHLING, she
worked as a tutor, proofreader, technical writer, and editor of
children's educational workbooks. She studied fiction at SFSU
and Columbia. She is of Polish-Jewish descent, and currently
lives in Los Angeles.
A reading by Sarit Yishai-Levi, author of The Beauty Queen
of Jerusalem. The Betsy, in partnership with the Israeli
Consulate of Miami, presents Israeli author and jounalist, Sarit
Yishai-Levi, author of The Beauty Queen of Jerusalem, a
bestseller in Israel, which received the Publishers Association's
Gold and Platinum Prizes (2014). Sarit Yishai-Levi was born in
Jerusalem in 1947 to a Sephardic family that has lived in the city
for seven generations. She studied at the Nissan Nativ Acting
Studio and later at Tel Aviv University. Before turning to
journalism, Yishai-Levi acted in theater and film for several
years. Later, she was a correspondent for various Israeli
newspapers and magazines, including At, Monitin, HaOlam
HaZeh and Hadashot; she also hosted Hebrew TV and radio
programs in Los Angeles. At present, she is a senior
correspondent for Olam Ha’Isha magazine and hosts TV shows
on tourism and lifestyle.
List of Participants:
1. Aarons, Victoria: vaarons@trinity.edu
2. Berger, Alan: aberger@fau.edu
3. Berkovits, Annette Liebskind: berkovits@mac.com
4. Cappell, Ezra: ecappell@utep.edu
5. Cartaya, Pablo: phcartaya@gmail.com
6. Cohen, Anthony Gus: AGCohen@miners.utep.edu
7. Coulehan, Erin: elcoulehan@gmail.com
8. Cronin, Gloria: gloriacronin@msn.com
9. Demsky, Jeffrey: jdemsky@valleycollege.edu
10. Flanzbaum, Hilene: hflanzba@butler.edu
11. Friedman, Ellen G.: friedman@tcnj.edu
12. Goodhart, Sandor: sandor.goodhart.1@purdue.edu
13. Gordon, Andrew: agordon@ufl.edu
14. Hirth, Brittany: Brittany_hirth@uri.edu
15. Jelen, Sheila: sjelen@umd.edu
16. Kazin, Andrew: akazin@stcwlaw.com
17. Lang, Jessica: Jessica.Lang@baruch.cuny.edu
18. Levitsky, Holli: hlevitsk@lmu.edu
19. Levy, Paule: levy.paule@wanadoo.fr
20. Milbauer, Asher Z.: Asher.Milbauer@fiu.edu
21. Milman-Miller, Nyusya: nmilman@vt.edu
22. Moran, Ed: emoran8688@aol.com
23. Naveh, Gila: gila.naveh@uc.edu
24. Neely, Sol: sol.neely@icloud.com
25. Osborne, Monica: monicaosborne@gmail.com
26. Raikin, Leora: lgraikin@att.net
27. Shichtman, Martin: martin.shichtman@emich.edu
28. Schreier, Ben: bjs44@psu.edu
29. Shapiro, Edward: edshapiro@yahoo.com
30. Shostak, Debra: DSHOSTAK@wooster.edu
31. Stern, Steve: sstern@skidmore.edu
32. Wei, Matthew: xwei668@163.com
33. Whitfield, Stephen: swhitfie@brandeis.edu
34. Patterson, David: dxp103120@utdallas.edu