Edward Waysband

Edward Waysband received his PhD in Russian and East European Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 2010.

He conducted his post-doctoral studies at the University of Toronto, the University of Caen, Normandy, the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies, and at his home university the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He likewise taught in the Department of German, Russian, and East European Studies at the Hebrew University.

His research interests encompass several fields: Russian and European literature, especially early 20th century literature; Russian-Polish-Jewish nexus; Russian-Israeli literature; literature and identity (including the contexts of diaspora and exile); and postcolonial, nationalism, and minority studies. He has published on these issues in academic journals.

Research project: Ethnic Conflicts through the Prism of Russian Literary and Press Responses to Polish-Jewish Tensions at the Beginning of World War I

The aim of my project is to research Russian literary and press responses to Polish-Jewish tensions during the first year of World War I as a testing ground for issues that would engage the Russian and European consciousness throughout the long twentieth century: the imperial-national dichotomy, ethnic conflicts, the status of minority within a minority, literature and ideological mobilization.

Polish-Jewish tensions during the war have received significantly less scholarly attention than they deserve – clearly, because they were overshadowed by the scale of the calamities that befell the Jewish population, starting with the Russian army's defeats in Poland in the summer of 1915, followed by the mass expulsion and systematic pogroms against Jews by the retreating Russian army. Preliminary collected data on these tensions show, however, that they were one of the main concerns for Russian, Polish, Jewish, and international public opinion of the time, and that they found various expressions in the contemporary press and literature. Although there are a few studies on Polish and Jewish literary responses to Polish-Jewish tensions, no major examination of Russian literary and ideological involvement in Polish-Jewish tensions has been carried out so far. I contend that the very nature of the responses to Polish-Jewish tensions points to the need for broad comparative research.

My project aims at proposing a new way of integrating recent innovations in social, ethnic, and literary studies, showing that they can be mutually reinforcing.

Dates of stay: 01 October 2017 - 28 February 2018