Katz Center
Primo Levi Fellowship

Research Topic

A Rubric of Pain Words: Lexicons of "Holocaust Yiddish" and Wartime Emotional Paradigms


Hannah Pollin-Galay completed her B.A. at Columbia College in Yiddish Studies and English literature in 2004 and her Ph.D. at Tel Aviv University in History in 2014. Her research, which draws on both disciplines, explores the connection between language, ethics, and historical imagination in contemporary Holocaust testimony. She has been awarded a number of prizes for this research, including a Fulbright fellowship, a Yad Vashem Research Award, and a Shoah Foundation Research Grant. As a Rothschild Postdoctoral Fellow in the Humanities at the Columbia University Institute for Israel and Jewish Studies, she is editing her dissertation into a book, entitled Ecologies of Testimony: Lithuanian Jews Narrate the Holocaust. She has also begun a new research project about Yiddish language glossaries as an early form of Holocaust reflection.



Exploring aspects of internal life that lie beyond reason—emotions and feelings, the unconscious, sensation, imagination, impulse, intuition, and the nonrational dimensions of reason itself.