2023 Student Research Project | 100 Years of Jewish Literature in China

Supervisors: Yitzhak Lewis, Assistant Professor of Humanities & Anruo Bao (Columbia University)

Student Researchers

Shiyu Xiong is a senior at Duke Kunshan University, majoring in Global Cultrual Studies (World Literature). Shiyu Xiong is interested in Chinese vernacular literature in Ming and Qing dynasties. In this project, Shiyu Xiong and other team members were responsible for studying the articles of many newspapers and magazines during the Republic of China period and sifting out the contents related to Yiddish literature.

Yilin Xu is a senior student at Duke Kunshan University majoring in World Literature. Her interest is in comparative cultural study and gender study. She is mainly responsible for collecting and translating journals and articles related to Yiddish literature published from 1921 and compiling and analyzing the data in the archive.

Ruohan Wang is a senior at DKU, majoring in global cultural studies under the track of world literature. She is interested in cultural representations of gender and sexuality in East Asian culture. In this project, her primary role involves the identification, summarization, and translation of articles about Yiddish literature found within diverse Chinese journals.

About the Project

The project is an archive research of Chinese intellectual writings about Yiddish literature over the past 100 years. Since 1921, prominent Chinese intellectuals have translated and published plays and short stories from Jewish literature in the most prestigious and prevalent journals. The collection highlights the significance of Yiddish language and literature for intellectuals during the Republican Era’s New Culture Movement. This collection of writing includes an overview of the latest translation endeavors for Israeli literature that have taken place in the early 21st century.

As the first catalog of Chinese translations of Yiddish literature from this period, Irene Eber’s Chinese and Jews: Encounters Between Cultures is focused exclusively on literary texts. Our archival research has found additional translations to be added to this catalog. Additionally, we have collected essays and comments about the subject of Yiddish literature written by Chinese intellectuals. The essays and comments reflect Chinese scholars’ understanding and analysis of individual Jewish author’s importance in Yiddish literature. With the recently found articles, we can better analyze how Chinese scholars and publishers interpret and translate cultural and historical context in Yiddish literature. As far as we know, we have completed the most thorough investigation into Jewish literature in Republican China.