Justin Cammy

Associate Professor of Jewish Studies and of Comparative Literature

Justin Cammy

Contact & Office Hours

Fall 2017
Wednesday, 9-10:45 a.m.
Or by appointment.

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 and modern Jewish literatures, Eastern European Jewish history, and Zionism and contemporary Israel. He holds a Ph.D. in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations from Harvard University and a B.A. in Middle Eastern studies from McGill University. In addition to appointments in Jewish studies and comparative literature, he also is a member of Smith's Programs in Middle East studies, Russian, Eastern European, and Eurasian studies, and American studies. His administrative service includes appointments as director of the Program in Jewish Studies and faculty co-director of STRIDE (Student Research in Departments), and past service as Acting Dean of Sophomores.

Cammy’s research focuses on Yiddish literature and cultural history. 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. His book on Young Vilna, the last Yiddish literary group in interwar Poland, is forthcoming. He is currently working on an English edition of Abraham Sutzkever’s Vilna Ghetto, one of the earliest Yiddish Holocaust memoirs to describe the destruction of a Jewish city.

Cammy's teaching includes courses on Yiddish, Hebrew, American Jewish, Holocaust, and modern Jewish literatures; histories of Eastern European Jewry and Zionism/Israel; Jewish humor; and a survey of Jewish civilization. His teaching regularly extends beyond Northampton, including leadership of global engagement seminars for Smith students to Israel and Smith Travel alumnae trips to Poland, the Czech Republic, and Israel. He is a regular guest faculty member at Yiddish summer programs at Tel Aviv University and the Yiddish Book Center.

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 Stroock visiting fellow at the Center for Jewish Studies at Harvard (2006).

In 2006, Cammy was awarded Smith College’s Sherrerd Prize for Distinguished Teaching.

Selected Publications


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

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.

Work in Progress

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.

Introduction to Shmerke Kaczerginski, The Destruction of Vilna, trans. Maurice Wolfthal. Wayne State University Press, 2017.


Avrom Novershtern and Justin Cammy, "Written in Moscow, Summer 1944,” Hebrew introduction to Avrom Sutzkever, Geto Vilna. Tel Aviv: Am Oved, 2016, 9-49.

“Foreword,” Vilna, My Vilna: Stories by Abraham Karpinowitz, trans. Helen Mintz. Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 2015, ix-xxiii.

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” (scholarly essay)

“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.