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Syracuse University, College of Arts and Sciences

"Great Jewish Writers" series continues with Nov. 29 lecture on Grace Paley

SU professor Harvey Teres discusses Paley's life, legacy

Nov. 13, 2011, by Rob Enslin

Harvey Teres
Harvey Teres

The Judaic Studies Program in Syracuse University's College of Arts and Sciences and the Jewish Federation of Central New York continue their “Great Jewish Writers” lecture series with a special program on Grace Paley.

Harvey Teres, professor of English and director of the Judaic Studies Program at SU, will discuss Paley's life and legacy on Tuesday, Nov. 29, at 7:30 p.m. at Temple Adath Yeshurun (450 Kimber Rd., Syracuse). The event is free and open to the public, and is supported by the federation’s Community Program Grant. For more information, call 315-443-7192.

Paley (1922-2007) was a celebrated writer and social activist whose stories often explored the struggles of ordinary women. She also served as New York’s first official state author and as poet laureate of Vermont.

“We are using this series to leverage public interest in Jewish literature and in our program, to strengthen the bond between SU and the Syracuse community, and to enhance the lives and minds of our citizens, especially seniors,” says Teres. “This project, I hope, will go a long way toward cultivating deeper, more abiding connections with people of all backgrounds.”

An expert on the public role of literature and criticism, Teres is the author of several books, including "The Word on the Street: Linking the Academy and the Common Reader" (The University of Michigan Press, 2010) and "Renewing the Left: Politics, Imagination and the New York Intellectuals" (Oxford University Press, 1996). He has published dozens of articles and reviews on 20th-century American literature and culture, including many on Jewish American writers. He also served as the first faculty representative to the Syracuse University Board of Trustees.

"Great Jewish Writers" continues with presentations on Lea Goldberg and Else Lasker-Schüller by Sarah Wobick-Segev, postdoctoral teaching fellow in Judaic studies (Feb. 28); on Shmuel Yosef Agnon by Erella Brown, assistant professor of languages, literatures and linguistics (April 23); and on David Grossman by Miriam Elman, associate professor of political science (April 25).

Two years ago, the Judaic Studies Program received a $50,000 matching grant from the Foundation for Jewish Culture to hire Wobick-Segev as a postdoctoral teaching fellow. Judaic Studies is an all-University interdisciplinary program, administered by the college.