Deborah Yalen

Associate Professor

About

  • Role:

    Faculty
  • Position:

    • Associate Professor
  • Education:

    • PhD University of California-Berkeley
  • Concentration:

    • Imperial Russia, Soviet Union, Modern Europe, East European Jewish History
  • Department:

    • History

Biography

I teach a variety of courses devoted to the history of Imperial Russia, the Soviet Union, and modern Europe. With the support of a grant from the Holocaust Educational Foundation, I also recently developed a new course at CSU, "The Holocaust in Historical Perspective."

My scholarly publications explore the social, political, and intellectual history of Jews in the Soviet Union in the 1920s and 1930s, and focus in particular on state-sponsored documentation of the shtetlekh, or former market towns, of the Ukrainian and Belorussian Soviet Socialist Republics. In addition to my ongoing research on the history of the Soviet shtetl,  I have initiated a new international collaborative project entitled "Ideologies on Display: Jewish Ethnography in the Age of Lenin and Stalin," which focuses on the activities of the Jewish Section of the State Museum of Ethnography in Leningrad. This volume will feature critical essays and annotated translations of previously unpublished archival materials. In 2017, my individual contribution to this project was supported by a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship for University Teachers. I am also currently working on a co-authored volume entitled  1929-1939: Stalinist Socialism for A Comprehensive History of Jews in the Soviet Union, a seven-volume international research project sponsored by New York University’s Global Network for Advanced Research in Jewish Studies.

I currently serve as Book Review Editor and Book Review Coordinator for Russian titles for the peer-reviewed journal East European Jewish Affairs.

 

Selected Grants, Fellowships and Visiting Positions:

2017 AY: National Endowment for the Humanities (Fellowships for University Teachers, Research Programs)

2016 (summer): Holocaust Educational Foundation of Northwestern University Teaching Grant

2015 (spring): Postdoctoral Fellow, Herbert D. Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.

2014 (fall): Louis and Helen Padnos Visiting Professor of Judaic Studies and Postdoctoral Fellow, Frankel Institute for Advanced Judaic Studies, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor.

Regularly Taught Courses:HIST331/Soviet History; HIST324/Imperial Russian History; HIST338/The Holocaust in Historical Perspective; HIST492/Capstone Seminar: Nation and Empire in Imperial Russia and the Soviet Union; HIST467/Modern Jewish History; HIST521/Graduate Reading Seminar: Europe Since 1815; HIST101/Histories of Western Civilization/Modern Period

Publications

Articles:

“The Toiling froy and the Speculating yidene: Discourses of Female Productivization in the Soviet Shtetl” (forthcoming in Jewish History, 2018).

"Statistical Interpretation and the Politics of Jewish Suffering: Revisiting the Life and Scholarship of Il'ia Isaakovich Veitsblit, 1895-1937" (in Russian) in Sovetskaia iudaika: istoriia, problematika, personalii [Soviet Judaica: History, Problems, Personalities] ed. Mark Kupovetsky (Moscow: Russian State Humanities University, 2017).

"After An-sky: I.M. Pul'ner and the Jewish Section of the State Museum of Ethnography in Leningrad" in Going to the People: Jews and the Ethnographic Impulse, ed. Jeffrey Veidlinger (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2016).

"The Shtetl in the Museum: Representing Jews in the Eras of Stalin and Putin" in East European Jewish Affairs 45/2-3 (August-December 2015): 174-189.

"Tak nazyvaemoe evreiskoe mestechko : shtetl i bol shevistskie ideologiia i nauka v periode mezhdu dvumia mirovymi voinami" [The So-Called Jewish Mestechko: the Shtetl and Bolshevik Ideology and Scholarship during the Interwar Period]. Novoe literaturnoe obozrenie 102 [New Literary Review (Moscow)] (June 2010): 145-157. Published in print and on-line in NLO's Zhurnal'nyi zal. Republished on the Russian news website Polit.ru.

"Documenting the New Red Kasrilevke : Shtetl Ethnography as Revolutionary Narrative" in East European Jewish Affairs 37/3 (December 2007): 353-375.

"On the Social-Economic Front : The Polemics of Shtetl Research During the Stalin Revolution" in Science in Context 20/2 (June 2007): 239-301.

Book Reviews:

Jeffrey Veidlinger, In the Shadow of the Shtetl: Small-Town Jewish LIfe in Soviet Ukraine. 424 pp. (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2013). Russian Review Vol. 73, Issue 4 (October 2014): 648-649.

Anna Shternshis, Soviet and Kosher: Jewish Popular Culture in the Soviet Union 1923-1939 . 253 pp. (Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press 2006). University of Toronto Quarterly 80:2 (Spring 2011): 259-261.

V.A. Dymshits A.L. L vov A.V. Sokolova, eds., Shtetl XXI Vek: polevye issledovaniia [The Shtetl of the Twenty First Century: Field Research]. 292 pp. (St. Petersburg: European University Press 2008). East European Jewish Affairs 40/2 (2010): 176-182.

Arkadii Zel'tser, Evrei sovetskoi provintsii: Vitebsk i mestechki 1917-1941 [Jews of the Soviet Provinces: Vitebsk and the Shtetls 1917-1941]. 478 pp. Moscow: ROSSPEN 2006. Kritika: Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History 10/1 (Winter 2009): 194-204.

Web Publications:

B.Z. Goldberg's Letter to The New Palestine in Doing Wissenschaft: The Active Study of Judaism as Practice, 1818-2018/An Online Exhibition from the Herbert D. Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies 2014-2015

“The Soviet Shtetl: Ideology, Scholarship, Memory” in IREX/IARO Scholar Research Brief (2011)

Margolis Osher Leibovich in The YIVO Encyclopedia of Jews in Eastern Europe (2010)

Courses

  • HIST331/Soviet History

  • HIST324/Imperial Russian History

  • HIST338/The Holocaust in Historical Perspective

  • HIST492/Capstone Seminar: Nation and Empire in Imperial Russia and the Soviet Union

  • HIST467/Modern Jewish History