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 RinguetDr. Chantal Ringuet is a scholar, an award-winning poet, a literary translator and a literary critic. A Research Associate at Concordia’s Institute for Canadian Jewish Studies, she has published two collections of poetry, a cultural essay about Yiddish Montreal (À la découverte du Montréal yiddish) and literary translations. She is the editor of Voix yiddish de Montréal, the first anthology of Yiddish literature in Canada in French translation and the co-editor, with Gérard Rabinovitch, of the collective book Les révolutions de Leonard Cohen (PUQ, forthcoming in 2016). In 2015-16, she is YIVO Fellow for a research project about Yiddish Women Writers in North America. She is also working on a literary essay about Israel for which she received a grant from the Canada Council for Arts (2015).