Erin Faigin

TA: History 152, Professor Johnson; Julie A. and Peter M. Weil Distinguished Graduate Fellow

Advisors: Tony Michels, Amos Bitzan, Susan Johnson, and Cindy Cheng

Office: 4274 Mosse Humanities
Mailbox: 4088 Mosse Humanities
Phone: 608.265.9480
Office Hours: TBA

Erin Faigin


My work focuses on Yiddish literature and culture in Los Angeles and Chicago as a tool to understand diversity in the American Jewish experience, outside of standard assimilationist narratives and beyond New York exceptionalism. The untranslated literature of the West is a window into how immigrants understood and inserted themselves into American history. These narratives contain complex syncretic mythologies that tie together the Old World and the New West. My research interests move beyond the American West following the global Jewish diaspora. With a strong understanding of Eastern European and Jewish history, I am better equipped to understand my West and its peoples. The conceptual frameworks that guide my research include diaspora, frontier, and borderland studies. My work interrogates both the concept of secularism and Jewishness in the 20th century.


B.A., History, UC Berkeley, 2016


  • United States History

Selected Publications

  • “Where Text Meets Sweat: Reading Yiddish Utopia in the Utah Landscape.” In geveb: A Journal of Yiddish Studies, December 2017.
  • “Lernen yidish far sholem: Teaching Yiddish in a Secular Jewish School.” In geveb: A Journal of Yiddish Studies, March, 2017.
  • “Reflections on Space in Learning Yiddish.” In geveb: A Journal of Yiddish Studies, December 2015.
  • Anti-fascist Yiddish Song: Shneer and Eisenberg on Lin Jaldati.” Interview, In geveb: A Journal of Yiddish Studies, February 2016.
  • Reflections on Space in Learning Yiddish.In geveb: A Journal of Yiddish Studies, December 2015.

Professional Affliations

  • Modern Language Association

Courses Taught as TA

  • History 219 — The American Jewish Experience: From Shtetl to Suburb