Between the 1880s and 1920s, Yiddish-language newspapers rose from obscurity to become successful institutions integral to American Jewish life. During this period, Yiddish-speaking immigrants came to view newspapers as indispensable parts of their daily lives. In A Revolution in TypeAyelet Brinn argues that women were central to the emergence of the Yiddish press as a powerful, influential force in American Jewish culture. Through rhetorical debates about women readers and writers, the producers of the Yiddish press explored how to transform their newspapers to reach a large, diverse audience. The seemingly peripheral status of women’s columns and other newspaper features supposedly aimed at a female audience—but in reality, read with great interest by male and female readers alike—meant that editors and publishers often used these articles as testing grounds for the types of content their newspapers should encompass. Brinn shows that instead of framing issues of gender as marginal, we must view them as central to understanding how the American Yiddish press developed into the influential, complex, and diverse publication field it eventually became.

Brinn will be in conversation about her book with Tony Michels, George L. Mosse Professor of American Jewish History at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Tony Michels is the George L. Mosse Professor of American Jewish History at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is the author of A Fire in Their Hearts: Yiddish Socialists in New York (Harvard), Jewish Radicals: A Documentary History (NYU), and co-editor (with Mitchell Hart) of The Cambridge History of Judaism. Volume Eight: The Modern World, 1815-2000.  He is finishing a book with the working title “Jews and Revolution: From the United States to Russia and Back.”

Ayelet Brinn is an Assistant Professor of Judaic Studies and History at the University of Hartford, where she holds the Philip D. Feltman Professorship in Modern Jewish History. After receiving her PhD from the University of Pennsylvania, she held a Rabin-Shvidler Joint Postdoctoral Fellowship in Jewish Studies at Columbia University and Fordham University, the Ivan and Nina Ross Family Fellow, Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies, and was a Scholar in Residence at the Hadassah-Brandeis Institute. Her first book, A Revolution in Type: Gender and the Making of the American Yiddish Press, was released in November 2023 with New York University Press

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