Samuel Spinner

Postdoctoral Fellow, Yiddish Literature and Culture

Gilman 405
Thursday 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.


Samuel Spinner received his BA from Johns Hopkins University and his PhD from Columbia University in 2012. From 2012 to 2014, he was the Ross Visiting Assistant Professor of Yiddish and Jewish Studies in the Department of Germanic Languages at the University of California, Los Angeles.

His research and teaching encompass Yiddish and German-Jewish literature and culture from the 19th century to the present, with a focus on modernism. His interests also include the history of anthropology; museum studies; visual culture; the Holocaust in literature; and digital humanities. He has also worked on early modern Jewish culture, and translated one of the first books written by a Jewish woman—the Yiddish ethical text Meneket Rivkah, published by JPS (2009).

He is currently at work on a book, The Museum of the Jews: Salvaging the Primitive in German-Jewish and Yiddish Literature, which explores the reciprocal relationships between literary, visual, and ethnographic understandings of Jewish identity in modern Europe, locating points of contact with broader modernist and social scientific discourses of European and human identities. His next book, tentatively titled Sites of Memory, Indices of Destruction: Museums, Mimesis, and Holocaust Memory, explores the affinities between museological and literary modes of Holocaust representation and remembrance.