Anna Elena Torres

Anna Pic
Director of Undergraduate Studies and Assistant Professor, Comparative Literature and The College
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 Horizons Blossom, Borders Vanish: 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. I am also co-editor (with Kenyon Zimmer) of a forthcoming volume, Freedom's Fullness: Histories of Jewish Anarchism (University of Illinois Press).

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 serve on the International Editorial Board for Manchester University Press' Contemporary Anarchist Studies Series. I have held fellowships at the Frankel Center of the University of Michigan, 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

Horizons Blossom, Borders Vanish: Anarchism and Yiddish Literature. Yale University Press (forthcoming)

Freedom's Fullness: Histories of Jewish Anarchism (University of Illinois Press).

In geveb Special Issue on Debora Vogel (Dvoyre Fogel), co-editor.

Montage-Murals: Ella Ponizovsky Bergelson’s “Present Figures” (Berlin 2021)

"Circular Landscapes: Montage and Myth in Dvoyre Fogel's Yiddish Poetry."

Nashim: A Journal of Jewish Women's Studies & Gender IssuesNumber 35, Fall 5780/2019  pp. 40-73

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

"The Horizon Blossoms and the Borders Vanish: Peretz Markish's Poetry and Anarchist Diasporism." Jewish Quarterly Review, Volume 110, Number 3, Summer 2020, pp. 458-490

 “'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


If you are unable to access any of my articles, you may request a pdf directly.