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Watch the Throne: Spectacle and Specters in the Stories of Reb Nakhmen and Der Nister
Sep 4 2012

Marc Caplan, Johns Hopkins University
Beatrice (Brukhe) Lang Caplan, Johns Hopkins University

At the second Annual Naomi Prawer Kadar Lecture, Dr. Marc Caplan, the Zelda and Myer Tandetnik Professor in Yiddish Language, Literature, and Culture at Johns Hopkins University, discussed two of the most compelling and experimental Yiddish storytellers - Reb Nakhmen of Breslov (Bratslav) in the early 19th century and Der Nister (Pinkhes Kahanovitsh) in the early 20th. Although the absence of Yiddish-speaking kings in history might make their presence in Yiddish literature seem incongruous, both of these authors devote narratives to courtly intrigue. What are the sources for these stories, and what do they suggest about the authors' relation to modernity and literary modernism? Dr. Marc Caplan was introduced by Dr. Beatrice (Brukhe) Lang Caplan of the Judaic Studies Department at Johns Hopkins.

This annual lecture honors Naomi Prawer Kadar, Ph.D. (1949-2010), z"l, an inspiring educator, a devoted researcher and scholar, and a true visionary. Naomi had a profound understanding of the importance of preserving Yiddish language and culture. Naomi was the National Director of Schools at The Workmen's Circle (Arbeter-ring),and she taught Yiddish at Columbia University, the Jewish Theological Seminary, and summers at the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research/Columbia University, the Free University of Brussels Summer Program and the Tel Aviv University Yiddish Program. Naomi's doctoral research focused on American Yiddish children's magazines from 1917 to 1950.

The Naomi Prawer Kadar Lecture at the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research celebrates Naomi's passion for rigorous exploration of Yiddish language, literature, linguistics, and culture in an academic setting.

For more information about The Naomi Prawer Kadar Foundation, Inc., click here.
Watch the Throne Video