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Simpson Center for the Humanities

Naomi Sokoloff's co-edited volume wins the National Jewish Book Award

Congratulations to UW Professor Naomi Sokoloff (NELC/Comparative Literature), who, along with Washington University in St. Louis Professor Nancy Berg (Hebrew/Comparative Literature), won a 2019 National Jewish Book Award for their co-edited collection, What We Talk about When We Talk about Hebrew (University of Washington Press).

The volume gathers twelve essays, chiefly from the May 2016 UW conference Hebrew and the Humanities: Present Tense, which was organized by Prof. Sokoloff and the UW’s Dr. Hannah Pressman, along with Prof. Berg, in conjunction with the 2016 Samuel and Althea Stroum Lectures and with the support of the Simpson Center. Like the book, the conference explored the state of Hebrew language studies in contemporary America and beyond. Keynote lectures were delivered by Dara Horn and Ilan Stavans, who both contributed to the collection (along with Dr. Pressman) and whose talks you can view here.  

Inaugurated in 1950, the National Jewish Book Awards is the longest-running North American awards program of its kind. The Awards are intended to recognize authors, and encourage reading, of outstanding English-language books of Jewish interest. Past notable win­ners include Deb­o­rah Lip­stadt, Bernard Mala­mud, Chaim Potok, Philip Roth, Elie Wiesel, Jonathan Safran Foer, Deb­o­rah Dash Moore, and Sandy Eisen­berg Sasso.

Sokoloff and Berg will be honored on March 17 at an awards dinner and ceremony in Manhattan, New York. Next year, Sokoloff, along with UW Professors Gary Handwerk (English/CHID) and Gordana Crnkovic (Slavic) will also be leading Global Literary Studies, a Simpson Center funded project that will work towards developing a new Global Literary Studies major at the UW.