Amelia Glaser is an Associate Professor of Russian and comparative literature at the University of California, San Diego, and is currently the Director of Russian and Soviet Studies at UCSD.
Throughout the nineteenth and early twentieth-centuries, Jews, Ukrainians, Poles, and Russians lived together in the territory known as the Pale of Settlement, a region of Eastern Europe that now covers much of Ukraine, Belarus, and the Baltic States. Although these communities spoke different languages, followed distinct cultural habits, and practiced different religions, members of these communities did meet at markets and fairs. The stories that Jewish, Russian, and Ukrainian writers tell about these marketplace encounters help us to understand a complex history of coexistence and antagonism in the nineteenth century and after. Amelia Glaser will be discussing Jewish-Slavic relations, as told through stories of these marketplace encounters by Nikolai Gogol, Hrihorii Kvitka, Sholem Aleichem, Isaac Babel, and others. She will base her talk on her recent book, Jews and Ukrainians in Russia’s Literary Borderlands: From the Shtetl Fair to the Petersburg Bookshop (2012).