Current Scholars

The HBI scholar-in-residence program offers distinguished scholars, writers and communal professionals the opportunity to produce significant work in the area of Jewish studies and gender issues while being freed from their regular institutional responsibilities. HBI scholars-in-residence receive a monthly stipend (for up to 5 months), office space at the Brandeis University Women’s Studies Research Center, and the opportunity to network and exchange ideas with HBI staff and faculty at Brandeis and surrounding institutions. Scholars-in-residence contribute to the life of the HBI by immersing in the institute’s weekly activities, participating in HBI conferences and programs, and delivering a public lecture. 

Lori Harrison-Kahan

Lori Harrison KahanLori Harrison-Kahan is a scholar of American literature and culture, specializing in women’s writing and the study of comparative race and ethnicity.  A recipient of the American Studies Association’s Gloria E. Anzaldúa Award for Independent Scholars and Contingent Faculty, she is the author of The White Negress: Literature, Minstrelsy, and the Black-Jewish Imaginary (Rutgers University Press/American Literatures Initiative, 2011), which received an honorable mention for the Society for the Study of American Women Writers Book Award. She is the book review editor of MELUS: Multi-Ethnic Literature of the United States and co-editor of a special issue of the journal on “The Future of Jewish American Literary Studies” (Summer 2012). Her essays and book reviews have been published in American Jewish History, Callaloo, Cinema Journal, Jewish Social Studies, Journal of American History, Legacy, MELUS, Modern Drama, Modern Fiction Studies, Modern Language Studies, Tulsa Studies in Women’s Literature, and The James Joyce Quarterly. Her work also appears in the anthologies Styling Texts: Dress and Fashion in Literature; Cultures of Femininity in Modern Fashion; Passing Interest: Racial Passing in U.S. Fiction, Memoirs, Television, and Film, 1990-2010; The Race and Media Reader; The Edinburgh Companion to Modern Jewish Fiction; and the MLA’s Approaches to Teaching the Novels of Nella Larsen.

Dr. Harrison-Kahan received her A.B. summa cum laude in English with certificates in Jewish Studies and Women’s Studies from Princeton University and her Ph.D. in English and Comparative Literature from Columbia University. She is currently an Associate Professor of the Practice of English at Boston College, and she has previously taught at the University of Pennsylvania, Harvard University, and Connecticut College. She is in the process of completing The Superwoman and Other Writings: Fiction and Journalism by Miriam Michelson, an edited collection of writings by California journalist and bestselling novelist Miriam Michelson, one of the turn-of-the-twentieth-century’s most famous Jewish feminist figures. During her residency at HBI, she will be working on a manuscript titled The Deghettoization of American Jewish Literature: Pioneering Women Writers in the Progressive Era, which tells the stories of now forgotten late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Jewish women writers from the Western United States.

Kathryn Hellerstein

Kathryn HellersteinKathryn Hellerstein is Associate Professor of Yiddish at the University of Pennsylvania.  Her books include a translation and study of Moyshe-Leyb Halpern's poems, In New York: A Selection, (Jewish Publication Society, 1982), Paper Bridges:  Selected Poems of Kadya Molodowsky (Wayne State University Press, 1999), Jewish American Literature:  A Norton Anthology, of which she is co-editor (W. W. Norton, 2001).  Her new book, A Question of Tradition:  Women Poets in Yiddish, 1586-1987 (Stanford University Press, 2014), won the National Jewish Book Award in Women’s Studies.  Hellerstein’s poems and many scholarly articles on Yiddish and Jewish American literature have appeared in journals and anthologies, including American Yiddish Poetry: A Bilingual Anthology (University of California Press, 1986), to which she was a major contributor. Hellerstein has received grants from the NEA, the NEH, and the Guggenheim Foundation, as well as from the Hadassah-Brandeis Institute and the Marcus Center at the American Jewish Archives. Her Women Yiddish Poets: An Anthology, is forthcoming from Stanford University Press.

Chantal Ringuet

Chantal Ringuet

When Chantal Ringuet discovered that her adopted city of Montréal had once been a prominent center of Yiddish culture, she decided to explore that fascinating world.

A francophone born in Quebec City, Ringuet’s dissertation in literature focused on women writers from Quebec, but she decided to learn Yiddish and received a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council grant which allowed her to pursue two years of postdoctoral research on Yiddish literature in Montreal. Since then, she has published a cultural essay, À la découverte du Montréal Yiddish (with 150 photographs), an anthology of Yiddish literature in Canada in French translation (Voix Yiddish de Montréal), as well as two poetry collections, one that was awarded the Prix littéraire Jacques-Poirier 2009, and many literary translations. Ringuet also created the Facebook page Montréal yiddish en français to circulate research about Yiddish Montreal in her maternal language and to promote cultural interactions in Quebec and North America. She is also the co-editor of a collective work about Leonard Cohen that will be published in April by the Presses de l’Université du Québec.

During her residence at HBI, Ringuet is working on a new project entitled, « On the Other Side of Poetry: Rachel Korn and Kadia Molodowsky, two Yiddish Women Writers in North America. » The first step of this research was undertaken in the Molodowsky-Korn Archives in New York where Ringuet is YIVO Fellow in 2015-16. A second step will lead to the publication of a monograph, a comparative study that will shed light on the two author’s works while allowing a better comprehension of the connections between Montreal and New York as two major centers of Yiddish culture. At the same time, Ringuet is writing a literary essay about Israel, for which she received a grant from the Canada Council for the Arts in 2015. For more information about her work, visit