Old Hasidic Nigunim: Aesthetics and Semiotics
Michael Lukin studies the traditional culture of Yiddish speakers from ethnomusicological, folkloristic, and historical perspectives. His research explores the semiotics of various musical genres, encounters with non-Jewish traditions, and the politics of Yiddish folklore scholarship. At the Katz Center, he will analyze the older layers of the Hasidic paraliturgical wordless chants (nigunim), aiming to outline their regional and Jewish contexts, their ties with other musical genres prominent among Yiddish speakers, and their musical semantics. Lukin completed his Ph.D. at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem with a dissertation titled “The Yiddish Folk Song: Poetics and Music.” He has previously been a Polonsky Fellow at Oxford and a Mandel-Scholion postdoctoral fellow at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem; he has taught at The Hebrew University and Bar-Ilan University.
“At the Crossroads: The Early Modern Yiddish Folk Ballad,” Shofar: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Jewish Studies 40.2 (2022).
“Servant Romances: Eighteenth-Century Yiddish Lyric and Narrative Folk Songs,” Polin: Studies in Polish Jewry 32 (2020).