Video Chronicle

The Golden Age Shtetl
17 January 2019


On January 17, 2019,  presentation of the book by prof. Yohanan Petrovsky-Shtern "The Golden Age Shtetl: A New History of Jewish Life in East Europe" took place.

A new book by the researcher is the first attempt to fundamentally rethink social, economic, and cultural history of the shtetl on the territory of Ukraine, or a peculiar "small-town world" inhabited by two-thirds of Jewish population in the East and Central Europe in the late 18th through the first half of the 19th century. Based on innovative approaches to sources and original research of shtetl material culture and anthropology, this detailed and generalized synthesis nuances, explicates, and convincingly depicts a rather unexpected new history of the shtetl in its prime day, highlighting and exploring the factors instrumental for the foundations of collective memory both of Jews, and of Ukrainians alike.

Translated from English by Yaroslava Strikha, maps for the book arranged by Dmytro Vortman.

Moderation: Volodymyr Sklokin (Ukrainian Catholic University).

Yohanan Petrovskyi-Shtern is a Kyiv born American and Ukrainian historian, philologist, researcher of culture, essayist, and translator. In 2001-, he presented his doctoral thesis on Contemporary Jewish History in Brandeis University (Waltham, Massachusetts). He is professor of Jewish Studies at Historical Faculty in Northwestern University in Chicago. Presently, Petrovsky-Shtern conducts his research and teaches Early Modern and Modern Jewish History, Problems of Ukrainian-Jewish Relations and Slavic-Jewish Literatures, History of Jewish Mysticism and Kabbalah.