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Lecturer in Yiddish and Director of the Yiddish Language Program

Agnieszka Legutko

Agi Legutko specializes in modern Yiddish literature, language, and culture, women and gender studies, spirit possession in Judaism, as well as in American and European modern Jewish literature, theater, and film. Her research interests also include trauma, memory, performance, and the body represented in modern Jewish culture. She is interested in exploring the possibilities offered by digital humanities in Yiddish language instruction and is an advocate of integrating technology in the classroom.

She received her Ph.D. (2012, with distinction), M.Phil (2008), and M.A. (2006) in Yiddish studies from Columbia University, and her M.A. (2002) in English Language and Literature and Translation Studies from Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland. Before joining Columbia University, she was a Visiting Assistant Professor in Yiddish Language, Literature and Culture at the University of Maryland.

She is currently focusing on creating an online database of Yiddish teaching materials and is working on turning her dissertation into a book that explores the trope of dybbuk possession in twentieth-century Jewish literature and performing arts. Her publications include Krakow’s Kazimierz: Town of Partings and Returns, a historical guidebook to the Jewish Quarter of Krakow (in English and Polish 2004, 2009), and articles on dybbuk possession in modern Jewish literature and on Yiddish poetry, such as “Feminist Dybbuks: Spirit Possession Motif in Post-Second Wave Jewish Women’s Fiction” (Bridges: A Jewish Feminist Journal, Spring 2010) and “‘The Circus Lady:’ Gender Poetry of Celia Dropkin” in Joanna Lisek (ed.), Silent Souls? Women in Yiddish Culture, (Wroclaw University Press, 2010).

She teaches courses in Yiddish language on elementary, intermediate and advanced levels, as well as in Yiddish literature and culture, such as Magic and Monsters in Yiddish Literature and Taste of Yiddish.

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