Jews in the East European Borderlands: Essays in Honor of John D. Klier

Jews in the East European Borderlands: Essays in Honor of John D. Klier


Edited by Eugene M. Avrutin & Harriet Murav

Series: Borderlines: Russian and East-European Jewish Studies
ISBN: 9781936235599 (hardcover)
Pages: 294 pp.
Publication Date: February 2012

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John Doyle Klier’s pioneering publications on the relations between Jews and the Russian social order—on topics such as public opinion, governance, conversion, Russification politics, antisemitism, and pogroms—have influenced an entire generation of new scholarship. Jews in the East European Borderlands, a collection of essays honoring Klier’s life and work, brings together some of the most innovative scholarship in the field. Focusing on the complex, often violent, entanglements between Jews and Russians, historians and literary scholars critically reassess the artifacts of high culture, including Yiddish and Russian prose and poetry, as well as dimensions of daily life, including letter-writing, diaries, the work of philanthropy, photojournalism, and the mass circulation press.

Eugene M. Avrutin (PhD University of Michigan) is assistant professor of modern European Jewish history and Tobor family scholar in the Program of Jewish Culture and Society at the University of Illinois. He is the author of Jews and the Imperial State: Identification Politics in Tsarist Russia (2010). He and Harriet Murav co-edited, together with Petersburg Judaica, Photographing the Jewish Nation: Pictures from S. An-sky's Ethnographic Expedition (2009).

Harriet Murav is professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures and Comparative and World Literature at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Hey studies of Dostoyevsky, Russian law and literature, and twentieth century Russian and Yiddish literature are complemented by her most recent monograph, Music from a Speeding Train: Jewish Literature in Post-Revolution Russia (2011). She is the co-editor of Jews in the East European Borderlands: Essays in Honor of John Klier (2012).

This volume . . . is a real bonanza for scholars of Russian-Jewish history. The essays are of high quality overall, and the book may serve as a mirror of what is happening now in the field of Russian-Jewish history and literature. . . . Essays such as these help brand the field as more than merely a subfield of Russian or Jewish history, but as a high-quality discipline in its own right.
— Brian Horowitz, Imre Kertesz Kolleg, Jena, Germany, and Tulane University, in Slavic Review (Vol. 72, No. 3, Fall 2013)
Jews in the East European Borderlands offers a dazzling cornucopia of pathbreaking scholarship on Russian Jewish history and culture. It is at once a fitting celebration of the life’s work of a pioneering scholar and a moving tribute to his enduring influence.
— James Loeffler, University of Virginia, Author of The Most Musical Nation: Jews and Culture in the Late Russian Empire

Table of Contents

List of Contributors

Eugene M. Avrutin and Harriet Murav

Part 1: History, Culture, and Everyday Life
1. The Mariinsko Sergievskii Shelter for Converted Jewish Children in St. Petersburg
ChaeRan Y. Freeze
2. Yiddish in Imperial Russia’s Civil Society
Gennady Estraikh
3. An-sky in Liozno: “Sins of Youth” and the Archival Diary
Gabriella Safran
4. In the Evil Kingdom of Things: Sholem-aleichem and the Writing of Everyday Life in Jewish Literature
Olga Litvak
5. A Paper Life: Model Letters and Real Letters as a Key to Russian-Jewish Aspirations at the Turn of the Twentieth Century
Alice Nakhimovsky and Roberta Newman
Part 2: Upheaval, Violence, and Antisemitism
6. Violence and the Migration of Ashkenazi Jews to Eastern Europe
Shaul Stampfer
7. Uses and Abuses: “Pogrom” in the Anglo-American Imagination, 1881–1919
Sam Johnson
8. Look! Up There in the Sky: It’s a Vulture, It’s a Bat . . . It’s a Jew. Reflections on Antisemitism in Late Imperial Russia, 1906–1914
Robert Weinberg
9. Shots in the Back: On the Origin of the Anti-Jewish Pogroms of 1918–1921
Oleg Budnitskii
10.Between External Persecution and National Renaissance: Simon Dubnow’s Lachrymose Vision of Russian-Jewish History
Joshua M. Karlip
11.Soviet Holocaust Photography and Landscapes of Emptiness
David Shneer
12.Transformed Myths in Verse: Boris Slutsky’s Three Holocaust Poems and the Question of Violence
Marat Grinberg

A Bibliography of John D. Klier’s Works