Anna Elena Torres

Anna Pic
Assistant Professor, Comparative Literature
Foster 403
Ph.D. UC Berkeley, 2016 MTS Harvard Divinity School, 2010 B.A. Swarthmore College, 2007
Teaching at UChicago since 2018
Research Interests: Jewish Studies, Gender and Women’s Studies, Anarchism and Labor History, Disability, Diaspora Studies, Religion, Translation, Yiddish

Research Interests: Yiddish Studies, Gender and Women’s Studies, Anarchism and Labor History, Disability, Diaspora Studies, Religion, Indigenous Studies, Translation

I specialize in Jewish Studies, Gender Studies, and labor history, with particular attention to the subjects of statelessness, anti-statism, and borderlands literature.

My forthcoming book is titled Any Minute Now The World Streams Over Its Border!: Anarchism and Yiddish Literature (Yale University Press). This project examines the literary production, language politics, and religious thought of Jewish anarchist movements from 1870 to the present in Moscow, Tel Aviv, London, Buenos Aires, New York City, and elsewhere. The book’s archive includes early Proletarian (svetshop) poetry, talmudic commentary, political theology, and Modernist literature.

My second project is a study of Polish writer, philosopher, and art critic Debora Vogel (also written Dvoyre Fogel, 1900-1942). Deeply engaged with the artistic avant-garde, her aesthetic theory and practice anticipated postwar experimental representations of domestic temporality and women’s labor. I have translated her poetry collection Manekinen (Mannequins, 1934and organized a Vogel symposium at U-Chicago; currently, I am co-editing a special issue of In geveb: A Journal of Yiddish Studies devoted to her work.

My other ongoing projects include a comparative study of racialization, indigeneity, and colonial education in Puerto Rico and Native American residential schools in the United States.

I have held fellowships at the National Yiddish Book Center, the Joseph A. Labadie Collection, and elsewhere. I have also worked as a muralist, community organizer, and set designer.

Selected Publications

Any Minute Now the World Streams Over Its Border!: Anarchism and Yiddish Literature. Forthcoming with Yale University Press.

“The Horizon Blossoms and the Borders Vanish: Anarchist Diasporism and Peretz Markish’s Poetry.” Jewish Quarterly Review.

“Circular Landscapes: Commodity and Embodiment in Dvoyre Fogel’s Yiddish Poetry.” Nashim.

"The Anarchist Sage / Der Go'en Anarkhist: Rabbi Yankev Meir Zalkind and Religious Genealogies of Anarchism.”  In Geveb: A Journal of Yiddish Studies.

 “'To Those Who Came Before, We Say Pa'lante': Women in the Puerto Rican Independence Movement.” With Emma Torres. Feminisms in Motion: A Decade of Intersectional Feminist Media (AK Press)

Courses Taught

  • Poetry and the Human (Core Sequence)
  • Gender and Embodiment in Yiddish Literature
  • Stateless Imaginations: Anarchism and Literature
  • Language is Migrant: Yiddish Poetics of the Border
  • Queer Jewish Literature

Affiliated Departments:

Near Eastern Languages and Cultures

Jewish Studies

Center for Sexuality and Gender Studies