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Jewish Studies


Justin Cammy
Associate Professor of Jewish Studies and Comparative Literature


email Send E–mail office Office: Seelye Hall 203
Hours T 9:30-11:30 a.m.
phone Phone: 585–3639

CV-Justin Cammy

Justin Cammy, associate professor of Jewish Studies and Comparative Literature, is a specialist in modern Jewish literature and culture. He received a PhD in Yiddish Studies from the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at Harvard University, and a BA in Middle Eastern Studies and Political Science from McGill University. In addition to his appointment to Jewish Studies and Comparative Literature, he also is a member of the Program in Middle East Studies, the Program in Russian and Eastern European Studies, and the Program in American Studies at Smith.

Professor Cammy's scholarly interests in the ways in which Jewish history, politics and culture intersect are reflected in his teaching which includes courses on Yiddish, Hebrew and Israeli, and American-Jewish literatures and cultures, thematic courses on Holocaust literature and Jewish comedy, history courses on the Jews of Eastern Europe, the Holocaust, and Jerusalem, and broad surveys of comparative modern Jewish literature and Jewish civilization. He is also a founding professor in the Global Engagement Seminar program through which he brought students for three consecutive summers to study the complicated religious and political history of Jerusalem as sacred space.

Professor Cammy is the translator and editor of Hinde Bergner's On Long Winter Nights: Memoirs of a Jewish Family in a Galician Township, 1870-1900 and co-editor of Arguing the Modern Jewish Canon: Essays on Literature and Culture, which includes his own scholarship on Yiddish writer Sholem Aleichem. A monograph, Young Vilna: Yiddish Culture of the Last Generation, will be published by Indiana University Press in 2015. He is in the early stages of a scholarly edition and translation of Abraham Sutzkever’s memoir of the Vilna Ghetto. He has been an associate editor of Prooftexts: A Journal of Jewish Literary History since 2005.

In addition to teaching at Smith, Cammy has served as the Baron Friedrich Carl von Oppenheim Chair in the study of Racism, Anti-Semitism, and the Holocaust and Research Fellow at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem (2014), Webb Family Visiting Scholar at the Goldreich Institute for Yiddish Language, Literature and Culture at Tel Aviv University (2013-2014), Mellon Senior Scholar on the Holocaust and Visiting Professor of English at UCLA (2009), visiting scholar at the Institute for the Study of Contemporary Jewry at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (2007), and visiting professor of American Jewish literature at Oberlin College. He is a regular , visiting faculty member at the internationally acclaimed Yiddish summer programs at Tel Aviv University and the Yiddish Book Center, where he also serves as an adviser on various projects.

Cammy also believes in the importance of branching out beyond the classroom to share his learning. He has led Smith alumnae trips to Poland and Israel, spoken to alumnae groups in places as far away as Paris and Jerusalem, and taught courses as part of Hebrew College’s Meah program in Boston and the Jewish Theological Seminary’s Contexts program in the Berkshires.

In 2006 Justin Cammy was awarded Smith's Sherrerd Prize for Distinguished Teaching.

Selected Publications

Young Vilna:Yiddish Culture of the Last Generation. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2015.

Arguing the Modern Jewish Canon: Essays on Jewish Literature and Culture edited by Justin Cammy, Dara Horn, Alyssa Quint, and Rachel Rubinstein. Cambridge: Harvard Center for Jewish Studies, 2008, 721 pages.

Hinde Bergner, On Long Winter-nights: Memoirs of a Jewish Family in a Galician Township 1870-1890. Translated from Yiddish, edited, and with an introduction by Justin Cammy. Cambridge: Harvard Center for Jewish Studies, 2005.

Work in Progress

Abraham Sutzkever, Vilna Ghetto-a translation and scholarly edition of the Yiddish poet’s memoir of the Vilna ghetto, testimony at Nuremberg, and recollections of his encounters with Soviet-Jewish writers and cultural figures in Moscow

The Untold Story of Yungvald (Cambridge: Harvard College Library, 2010), 45 pages.

Chaim Grade and His World. (New York: Yivo Encyclopedia Extracts No. 3 - Yivo Institute for Jewish Research, 2010), 22 pages.

“Judging the Judgment of Shomer: Jewish Literature versus Jewish Reading” (article) and “The Judgment of Shomer, by Sholem Aleichem” (annotated translation from Yiddish). In Arguing the Modern Jewish Canon, 85-185. Cambridge: Harvard Center for Jewish Studies, 2008.

Cammy and Marta Figlerowicz (co-authors), “Translating History into Art: The Influences of Cyprian Kamil Norwid in Avrom Sutzkever’s Poetry,” Prooftexts: A Journal of Jewish  Literary History 27:3 (2007), 427-473.

Vision and Redemption: Abraham Sutzkever’s Poems of Zion(ism).” In Yiddish after the Holocaust, ed. Joseph Sherman, 240-265. Oxford: Boulevard Books, 2004.

The Politics of Home, the Culture of Place: ‘Yung Vilne’: A Journal of Literature and Art (1934-1936). In Judische Kultur(en) im Neuen Europa: Wilna 1918-1939, edited byMarina Dmitrieva and Heidemarie Petersen, 117-133. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag, 2004.

“Jung Wilnie i kultura jidysz w miedzywojennym Wilne.” In Poezja i poeci w Wilnie lat
1920-1940, edited by Tadeusz Bujnicki and Krzysztof Biedrzycki, 257-286. Krakow: Taiwpn Universitas, 2003. Translation into Polish and expansion of “Tsevorfenebleter: The Emergence of Yung-Vilne.” In Polin: Studies in Polish Jewry, Vol. 14, edited by Antony Polonsky, 170-191. London: The Littman Library of Jewish Civilization, 2001.

Encyclopedia Entries
“Chaim Grade,” Yung Vilne,” “Leyzer Volf,” “Elkhonen Vogler,” Yivo Encyclopedia of Jewish Eastern Europe, ed. Gershon Hundert, 626-627; 1981-1983; 2105-2106. Yale University Press, 2008.

Abraham Sutzkever”. Dictionary of Literary Biography: Writers in Yiddish, ed. Joseph Sherman, 303-313. Thomson Gale/Brucolli Clark Layman, 2007.

“Abraham Sutzkever,” Encyclopaedia Judaica, 2nd edition, vol. 19, 330-331; “Leyzer Volf,” “Yung-Vilne,” vol. 21, 138; 428. Thomson Gale, 2007.

“Hinde Bergner.” Jewish Women: A Comprehensive Historical Encyclopedia. ed. Paula Hyman and Dalia Ofer. Jerusalem: Shavli Publishing and the Jewish Women’s Archive, 2006.

“Chaim Grade,” “Moyshe Leyb Halpern,” “Anna Margolin.” In Jewish Writers of the Twentieth Century, 204-206, 218-220, 359-361. Fitzroy Dearborn Publishers, 2003.

“Abraham Sutzkever,” “Di festung.” In Reference Guide to Holocaust Literature, 307-309, 435-436. St. James Press, 2002.

Popular Press
“His Poetry Remembers,” The Republican (Springfield MA, April 9, 2010), E6.

“Between Midnight and 6am” (co-authored with Rachel Rubinstein), Pakn Treger (Spring 2006), 28-31.

“From Right to Left by Yankev Glatshetyn” (Three Yiddish poems introduced and translated Justin Cammy) The Harvard Mosaic (Winter 1999), 40-44.

A Micro History of the Holocaust (with Chloe Brownstein) http://sophia.smith.edu/~jcammy