Associate Professor of Jewish Studies and of Comparative Literature
Contact & Office Hours
Seelye Hall 203
A.M., Ph.D., Harvard University
B.A., McGill University
JYA, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Justin Cammy is a literary and cultural historian with research and teaching interests in Yiddish literature, Eastern European Jewish history, and Zionism and contemporary Israel. He holds a doctorate in Near Eastern languages and civilizations from Harvard University and a bachelor's in Middle Eastern studies from McGill University. In addition to appointments in Jewish studies and comparative literature, he also is a member of the programs in Middle Eastern studies, Russian, Eastern European and Eurasian studies, and translation studies at Smith, and is also on the graduate faculty in German studies at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. He co-directs Smith's STRIDE (Student Research in Departments) program.
His publications range from essays on canonical Yiddish writers to scholarly translations of Yiddish literature to critical introductions to new editions of works by Yiddish writers and memoirists. He is in the final stages of completing a book on Young Vilna, the last Yiddish literary group in interwar Poland, and an English edition of Abraham Sutzkever’s Vilna Ghetto, one of the earliest Yiddish Holocaust memoirs to describe the destruction of a Jewish city.
In addition to his courses on Jewish literature, history and politics, Cammy has guided Smith students and alumnae abroad to study the religious and political history of Jerusalem, environmental challenges in Israel, the history and memory of Yiddishland, and Prague through the Ages.
In recent years Cammy has served as 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 (2013–14); and as Mellon Senior Scholar on the Holocaust and visiting professor of English at UCLA (2009). He is a regular guest faculty member at Yiddish summer programs at Tel Aviv University and the Yiddish Book Center.
In 2006, Cammy was awarded Smith College’s Sherrerd Prize for Distinguished Teaching.
Editor, Arguing the Modern Jewish Canon: Essays on Jewish Literature and Culture, with Dara Horn, Alyssa Quint, and Rachel Rubinstein. Cambridge: Harvard Center for Jewish Studies, 2008.
Translator and editor, On Long Winter Nights: Memoirs of a Jewish Family in a Galician Township 1870-1890, by Hinde Bergner. Cambridge: Harvard Center for Jewish Studies, 2005.
Works in Progress or In Press
Young Vilna: Yiddish Culture of the Last Generation. Indiana University Press, forthcoming.
Abraham Sutzkever, Vilna Ghetto–English translation and scholarly edition of the Yiddish poet’s memoir of the Vilna ghetto and testimony at Nuremberg.
Introduction to The Full Pomegranate: Poems of Avrom Sutzkever, selected and translated by Richard Fein. SUNY Press, 2019.
Introduction to Shmerke Kaczerginski, The Destruction of Vilna, trans. Maurice Wolfthal. Wayne State University Press, in progress.
Articles or Book Chapters
"The Untold Story of Yungvald," Catalog of the Leyzer Ran Collection. Cambridge: Harvard College Library, 2017, 23-42.
“Judging the Judgment of Shomer: Jewish Literature versus Jewish Reading” (article) and “The Judgment of Shomer, by Sholem Aleichem” (annotated translation from Yiddish), Arguing the Modern Jewish Canon. Cambridge: Harvard Center for Jewish Studies, 2008, 85-185.
Cammy and Marta Fliglerowicz, “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),” Yiddish After the Holocaust, ed. Joseph Sherman. Oxford: Boulevard Books, 2004, 240-265.
“The Politics of Home, the Culture of Place: ‘Yung Vilne’: A Journal of Literature and Art (1934-1936),” Judische Kultur(en) im Neuen Europa: Wilna 1918-1939, edited by Marina Dmitrieva and Heidemarie Petersen. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag, 2004, 117-133.
“Jung Wilnie i kultura jidysz w miedzywojennym Wilne,” Poezja i poeci w Wilnie lat 1920-1940, edited by Tadeusz Bujnicki and Krzysztof Biedrzycki. (Krakow: Taiwpn Universitas, 2003), 257-286. Translation into Polish and expansion of “Tsevorfenebleter: The Emergence of Yung-Vilne,” Polin: Studies in Polish Jewry, Vol. 14, edited by Antony Polonsky. London: The Littman Library of Jewish Civilization, 2001, 170-191.