Trauma and Transcendence: the Shadow of the Holocaust on an Israeli Sinologist

Visiting Scholar Talks

Dec 7, 2020 | 8:30 PM - 10:00 PM

Event Registration


Song Lihong | Professor, Department of Religious Studies and Glazer Institute of Jewish and Israel Studies, Nanjing University; HYI Visiting Scholar 2020-21


David Stern | Harry Starr Professor of Classical and Modern Jewish and Hebrew Literature and Professor of Comparative Literature, Harvard University

Talk will be held over Zoom

Registration required:

Co-sponsored with the Center for Jewish Studies, Harvard University

The late Irene Eber (1929-2019), professor of East Asian Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and a long-time affiliate of the Fairbank Center of Harvard, is arguably the scholar on the intercultural and transnational encounters between Jews and modern China. She is also a Holocaust survivor who wrote an inimitable memoir, The Choice: Poland, 1939-1945. It offered an unparalleled chance to unravel how China is construed by a Jewish Sinologist haunted by an all-pervasive mood of subdued obsession and inner wrestling with her memories of the Holocaust. This talk, sitting on the intersection of China studies, Jewish studies, and Holocaust studies, will examine the nexus between her Jewish identity and her academic vocation, and discuss how this tormented scholar made a variety of personal and academic choices and managed to find her position in this world of imponderables.