2009 Helen Diller Family Endowment Distinguished Lecture in Jewish Studies
April 24, 2009 | 11:00-12:10 PM | Free & Open to the Public
Theater Arts Media Theater, UC Santa Cruz
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James E. Young is Professor of English and Judaic Studies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where he has taught since 1988, and currently Chair of the Department of Judaic and Near Eastern Studies. He has also taught at New York University as a Dorot Professor of English and Hebrew/Judaic Studies (1984-88), at Bryn Mawr College in the History of Religion, and at the University of Washington, Harvard University, and Princeton University as a visiting professor. He received his B.A. in 1973 from the University of California, Santa Cruz, his M.A. in 1976 from the University of California, Berkeley, and his Ph.D. from the University of California in 1983.
Professor Young is the author of At Memory’s Edge: After-images of the Holocaust in Contemporary Art and Architecture (Yale University Press, 2000), The Texture of Memory (Yale University Press, 1993), which won the National Jewish Book Award in 1994, and Writing and Rewriting the Holocaust (Indiana University Press, 1988), which won a Choice Outstanding Book Award for 1988. He was also the Guest Curator of an exhibition at the Jewish Museum in New York City, entitled “The Art of Memory: Holocaust Memorials in History” (March – August 1994, with venues in Berlin and Munich, September 1994 – June 1995) and was the editor of The Art of Memory (Prestel Verlag, 1994), the exhibition catalogue for this show.
In 1997, Professor Young was appointed by the Berlin Senate to the five-member Findungskommission for Germany’s national “Memorial to Europe’s Murdered Jews,” dedicated in 2005. He has also consulted with Argentina’s government on its memorial to the desaparacidos, as well as with numerous city agencies on their memorials and museums. Most recently, he was appointed by the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation to the jury for the World Trade Center Site Memorial competition, now under construction.
His articles and reviews have appeared in Critical Inquiry, Representations, New Literary History, Partisan Review, The Yale Journal of Criticism, Annales, SAQ, History and Theory, Harvard Design Magazine, Jewish Social Studies, Contemporary Literature, History and Memory, The Chronicle of Higher Education, The Forward, Holocaust and Genocide Studies, Prooftexts, The Jewish Quarterly, Tikkun, The New York Times Magazine and Book Review, The Los Angeles Times, The Chicago Tribune, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, and Slate, among dozens of other journals and collected volumes. His books and articles have been published in German, French, Hebrew, Japanese, and Swedish.
Professor Young is the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships, including a Guggenheim Fellowship, ACLS Fellowship, NEH Exhibition planning, implementation, and research grants, Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture Grants, an American Philosophical Society Grant, and a Yad Hanadiv Fellowship at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, among others.
In 2000, he was appointed as Editor-in-Chief of the Posen Library of Jewish Culture and Civilization, a ten-volume anthology of primary sources, documents, texts, and images, forthcoming with Yale University Press. He is also currently completing an insider’s account of the World Trade Center Memorial process, entitled The Stages of Memory at Ground Zero: A Juror’s Report on the World Trade Center Memorial Process.