Competition: US & Canada
Jewish Theological Seminary
Alan Mintz is the Chana Kekst Professor of Hebrew Literature at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York. The research project for which he was awarded the Guggenheim Fellowship focuses on the late work of S. Y. Agnon, the great Hebrew writer and Nobel laureate in literature. Between the end of World War Two and his death in 1970, Agnon wrote an epic cycle of some 150 stories about Buczacz, the city in Galicia (now Ukraine) in which he was born and raised until his emigration to Palestine in 1907. In the aftermath of the liquidation of the Jews of Buczacz by the Nazis and their Ukranian helpers, Agnon undertook to bring the city back to life during its heyday through the means of imaginative fiction. In evoking the world of East European Jewry, Agnon uses the full ironic toolkit of modernism rather than looking back with nostalgia or ethnographic detachment.
Alan Mintz was a founder and coeditor of PROOFTEXTS: A Journal of Jewish Literary History, a publication that helped to establish the field of Jewish literary studies. Among his books are Hurban: Responses to Catastrophe in Hebrew Literature, Banished From Their Father’s Table: Loss of Faith and Hebrew Autobiography, and Popular Culture and the Shaping of Holocaust Memory in America. Sanctuary in the Wilderness: A Critical Introduction to American Hebrew Poetry, his most recent publication, was published by Stanford University Press in November 2011.