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GSLL faculty members Professor Ruth von Bernuth and Professor Eric Downing have co-edited a special volume for the series Nexus: Essays in German Jewish Studies, due to appear in February 2021. The essays included are drawn from talks originally presented at the Moments of Enlightenment Symposium held at UNC-Chapel Hill on April 13–15, 2019, organized to celebrate the life and scholarship of Professor Jonathan M. Hess (1965–2018), one year after his unexpected passing. Jonathan Hess was a long-time member of the UNC-Chapel Hill Department of Germanic and Slavic Languages and Literatures and its chair at the time of his death. He was an extremely innovative and influential scholar in German-Jewish studies, who through both his person and his publications opened up the field for many others to explore new areas of research and inquiry. The breadth of his legacy can be seen in the wide range of essays included in the volume, whose international cast of authors — including colleagues and former students — cover topics in German Jewish studies from the 16th to the 21st century. Ranging from popular culture based on everyday interactions of Jews and non-Jews to poetry written by persecuted Jews in Yiddish during the Shoah, this volume offers exemplary instances in which these very different encounters unfolded. The volume also discusses adaptations and translations of Yiddish and German texts, which offer an insight into connections between literary texts and their Jewish and non-Jewish readers alike.

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