Dr. Aya Elyada

Dr. Aya Elyada
Humanities Building, Room 6507. On sabbatical abroad 2018/19

I am a senior lecturer at the History Department, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. My fields of interest are German and German-Jewish history and culture; Christian-Jewish relations; the history of the Yiddish-German encounter; and the social and cultural history of language and translation. Before joining the Hebrew University in 2012 I spent five years as a visiting PhD student at the University of Munich, and another three years as a visiting post-doctoral fellow at Duke University. My book, A Goy Who Speaks Yiddish: Christians and the Jewish Language in Early Modern Germany, appeared in 2012 with Stanford University Press. The book explores the unique and unlikely phenomenon of “Christian Yiddishism” in early modern Germany, namely the Christian interest in and engagement with Yiddish language and literature from the beginning of the sixteenth century to the late eighteenth century. It explains why some Christians were preoccupied with Yiddish and discusses the various ways in which they depicted this Jewish language and literature in their writings. In the process, it sheds light on the broader linguistic, theological, cultural, and social concerns of early modern Christian authors and their intellectual environment.

My current project explores the cultural history of German translations of Yiddish literature from the sixteenth century and up to the present day.