DEBRA CAPLAN

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					                                  DEBRA CAPLAN
       6 Divinity Avenue | Cambridge, MA 02138 | caplan@fas.harvard.edu | 617.800.5138

EDUCATION
Ph.D., Harvard University, Yiddish Literature and Culture                             exp. 2013
       SECONDARY FIELD: Comparative Literature
       DISSERTATION:          “In the Temple of Art: The Vilna Troupe and the
                               Transnational Yiddish Art Theater Movement.”
       COMMITTEE:              Ruth R. Wisse, Martin Puchner, Joel Berkowitz
B.A., Hampshire College, Jewish Studies and Comparative Literature                        2007
       THESIS:        “Hotzmakh’s Shpiel: Translation, Adaptation, and the
                       Creation of a Yiddish Dramatic Canon.”

POSITIONS HELD
Assistant Director, Mellon School of Theater and Performance Research, Harvard
    University, Cambridge MA (2010 – pres.)
Instructor, Performing Arts Dept., Emerson College, Boston, MA (2011-pres.)
Tutorial Instructor, Special Concentrations & Women, Gender, and Sexuality
  Programs, Harvard University, Cambridge MA (2010 – pres.)
Teaching Fellow, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA (2009 – 2011)
Faculty, Prozdor at Hebrew College, Newton, MA (2008 – 2009)

FELLOWSHIPS AND AWARDS
Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture Dissertation Fellowship                      2011 – 2012
Harvard Graduate School of Arts & Sciences Merit Fellowship                         2011 – 2012
Maria Salit-Gitelson Tell Fellowship, YIVO Institute for Jewish Research            2011 – 2012
Targum Shlishi Dissertation Research Grant                                                 2011
Posen Foundation Summer Seminar Award                                                      2011
Teagle Foundation Course Development Award, Bok Center at Harvard                          2011
Research Grant, Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies, Harvard               2009, 2011
Schimberg Graduate Student Fellowship, Harvard Center for Jewish Studies            2008 – 2010
Kavinovsky Research Fellowship, Harvard Center for Jewish Studies                          2009
Graduate Society Pre-Dissertation Research Fellowship, Harvard University                  2009
Fein, Pinanski, and Shain Memorial Fellowship, Combined Jewish Philanthropies              2009
Rykles Memorial Travel Award, Harvard Center for Jewish Studies                            2008
Leo Flax Fellowship in Jewish Studies, Harvard University                                  2007
Merle Fainsod Prize for “top incoming students,” Davis Center, Harvard University          2007
Jewish Arts and Culture Initiative Grant, Harold Grinspoon Foundation                      2006
Jewish Studies Research Grant, Hampshire College Jewish Studies Program                    2006
Pennsylvania Scholarship, Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans       2003–2007

PUBLICATIONS
Peer-Reviewed Articles
“Oedipus, Shmedipus: Ancient Greek Drama on the Modern Yiddish Stage.” Comparative Drama
 44.4/45.1 (Winter/Spring 2010/11): 405-422.
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Articles in Edited Collections
“Forgotten Playwright: Kadya Molodovsky and the Yiddish Stage.” The Legacy of Yiddish
 Women Writers, Rosemary Horowitz, ed. (Forthcoming.)
Encyclopedia Articles and Textbook Chapters
“Greek Tragedy and Yiddish Literature/Theater.” Encyclopedia of Greek Tragedy, Hanna
 Roisman, ed. New York: Wiley-Blackwell. (Forthcoming.)
“The Early National Period and Expansion” and “The Fifties” in The Jewish Americans. Rodney
 P. Carlisle, ed. New York: Facts on File, Inc., 2011.
Book Reviews
Review of Rewriting Russia: Jacob Gordin’s Yiddish Drama by Barbara J. Henry. Modern Drama.
(Forthcoming.)
Comparative review of Beyond the Golden Door: Jewish American Drama and Jewish
American Experience by Julius Novick and Messiahs of 1933: How American Yiddish Theatre
Survived Adversity through Satire by Joel Schechter. Theatre Survey 51.2 (November 2010):
310-313.
Additional Publications
Annotations Editor, Shulamis: Daughter of Jerusalem (manuscript in progress). Edited by
Alyssa Quint, translation by Nahma Sandrow, music compiled by Zalmen Mlotek. This volume
emerged from the 2009 Harvard production of Shulamis (dir. Debra Caplan and Cecelia Raker).
“Ruth R. Wisse Bibliography” in Arguing the Modern Jewish Canon: Essays on Literature and
 Culture in Honor of Ruth R. Wisse (Cambridge: Harvard University Center for Jewish Studies,
 2008). Co-authored with Justin Cammy.

CORE FIELDS OF TEACHING AND RESEARCH
Jewish/Yiddish theater and performance; 19th and 20th century drama and theater history;
theatrical modernism and the avant-garde; Jewish literature and culture; intersections between
literary and theatrical cultures; religion and the theater; performance and identity; gender and
performance; translation and adaptation; Eastern Europe; digital humanities.

SELECTED CONFERENCE PAPERS
“A Humble Synagogue: Joseph Buloff’s Jewish Art Players and the Aesthetics of Modernist
 Yiddish Theater.” Chicago: Theater Capital of America symposium. Columbia College
 Chicago, May 2011.
“Death into Wonder: Theater, Redemption & Resistance in Sutzkever’s ‘Tsum yortog fun geto-
teater.’” Roundtable on “Reading Sutzkever” with David Roskies and Ruth R. Wisse. ‘
Association for Jewish Studies, Boston, MA, December 2010.
“Imagining the Other: Teatr Polski and the Warsaw Yiddish Art Theater, 1921-1939.”
 Association for Jewish Studies, Boston, MA, December 2010.
                                                                      D. Caplan C.V.   3 of 7


“Between Archives and Artistry: Directing Goldfaden’s Shulamis.” Goldfaden and the Yiddish
 Theater: The Legacy of Shulamis symposium. Conference organizer, moderator, and speaker.
 Harvard University, December 2009.
“A Tongue in Exile: Insiders and Outsiders on the Polylingual Yiddish Stage” (revised)
 American Comparative Literature Association, Cambridge, MA, March 2009. Panel organizer.
“Coming Attractions: Yiddish Theatre Programs and the Reading of Performance.”
 Junior Scholars’ Conference on Jewish Art, Tel Aviv University, March 2009.
“Beyond the Nation: Birobidzhan in the Jewish Imagination”
 Northeast Modern Language Association, Boston, MA, February 2009.
“A Tongue in Exile: Insiders and Outsiders on the Polylingual Yiddish Stage”
 Jews/Theatre/Performance Conference, Jewish Theological Seminary, February 2009.
“Hotzmakh’s Shpil: Translation, Adaptation, and the Creation of a Yiddish Literary Canon”
 Amherst-Binghamton Translation Studies Conference, April 2006.
“A Public Lamentation: Kadya Molodovsky and Poetry After Auschwitz”
 Yiddish/Jewish Cultures Conference, New York University, February 2006.

INVITED LECTURES
“The History and Transnational Legacy of the Vilna Troupe.” Montreal International Yiddish
 Theater Festival, June 2011.
“Waiting at the Footlights: Y.L. Peretz’s Campaign for a Yiddish Art Theater.” Modern Jewish
 Worlds Workshop, Harvard University, April 2011.
“The Dybbuk on Stage and Screen.” Invited Guest Lecture for CB 43: The World of Yiddish
 Harvard University, February 2011.
“Hitchcock’s Rebecca: Sex, Murder, and the Art of Adaptation.” Invited Guest Lecture for
 WGS 1122: The Romance from Jane Austen to Chick Lit. Harvard University, April 2010.
"Imagining the Other: Yiddish Theater and Interwar Polish-Jewish Relations.” Invited Guest
 Lecture for Slavic 176: Poland Between Avant-Garde and Catastrophe, Harvard University,
 April 2010.
"Catching Elephants: The Hirschbein Troupe and the Emergence of a Kunst Aesthetic for the
 Modern Yiddish Theatre, 1908-1910.” Post-Medieval Jewish Studies Workshop, Harvard
 University, February 2010.
“The Richness of Yiddish: Language, Literature and Lider.”
 Boston Vilna Shul and the Boston Workmen's Circle, September 2009.
“Oedipus, Shmedipus: Ancient Greek Drama on the Modern Yiddish Stage”
 Post-Medieval Jewish Studies Workshop, Harvard University, November 2008.

TEACHING EXPERIENCE
Emerson College, Boston, MA
     Adjunct Instructor                                                         2011 – present
     “World Drama in its Context I” (Fall 2011)
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Harvard University, Cambridge, MA
     Tutorial Instructor                                                        2010 – present
     Develop syllabus, teach, and supervise independent study courses (“tutorials”) for
     individual students. Tutorials meet weekly over the course of a semester.
     “Staging the Body.” (Spr. 2011)
     “Performance, Creativity, and Social Change.” (Spr. 2010)
       Teaching Fellow                                                                      2008 – 2011
       Three-time recipient of a Harvard University Certificate of Distinction in Teaching.
       Taught weekly discussion sections (approximately 20 students per section), planned and
       prepared course syllabi, presented guest lectures, advised students, and graded
       examinations, assignments, and term papers.
       “The World of Yiddish” (Head Teaching Fellow), Prof. Ruth R. Wisse (Spring 2011)
       “The Romance: Jane Austen to ‘Chick Lit,’” Prof. Linda Scholossberg (Spr. & Fall 2010)
       “Gender and Performance,” Prof. Robin Bernstein (Fall 2009)
       “Theism and Moral Reasoning,” Prof. Jay M. Harris (Fall 2009)
       “Jewish Languages and Literatures,” Prof. Marc Shell (Fall 2008 & Spr. 2010)
       Yiddish Tutor, Dept. of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations                             2008
       Tutored Yiddish students one-on-one in Yiddish language and literature.
Prozdor of Hebrew College, Newton, MA
     Faculty                                                                       2008 – 2009
     Designed and taught elective courses in Jewish literature and culture, performance
     studies, and Yiddish language for upper-level high school students.
     “Jews and Performance” (Spring 2009)
     “Jewish-American Literature and Culture” (Fall 2008)
     “Beginning Yiddish” (Fall 2008 & Spring 2009)
     “Intermediate Yiddish” (Spring 2009)
Boston Workmen’s Circle, Brookline, MA                                                              2008
      “Beginning Yiddish” - an introduction to Yiddish for adult education students
Longmeadow High School, Longmeadow, MA
     Yiddish Teacher                                                          2006 – 2007
     Designed and implemented an innovative curriculum to introduce high school students to
     Yiddish language and culture in weekly after-school lessons.
Hampshire College, Amherst, MA
    Yiddish Instructor, Experiential Program in Education and Community              2007
    Designed and taught an introductory Yiddish language and culture winter term course
    for Hampshire College undergraduates.
       Teaching Assistant                                                                           2006
       “Yiddish Language and Culture,” Prof. Rachel Rubinstein (Fall 2006)

ADVISING AND MENTORING
Freshman Advisor, Harvard University                                         2010 – 2011
     Served as the primary academic advisor to incoming Freshmen at Harvard College.
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Women, Gender and Sexuality Tutorial Board, Harvard University             2008 – present
    Supervise undergraduate student projects, advise undergraduates in WGS concentration.
Senior Fellow, Steiner Internship Program, National Yiddish Book Center                    2007
      Mentored undergraduate and graduate students, taught classes on Yiddish language and
      literature, led evening cultural programming, designed and led educational trips to New
      York and Montreal, directed interns in a culminating performance.

PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT
Asst. Director, Mellon School for Theater and Performance Research                  2010 – present
       Collaborating with Prof. Martin Puchner to develop an annual summer school in theater
       and performance research at Harvard. Ongoing activities include: designing the program
       and curriculum of the seminar, inviting senior faculty to participate, developing a
       program website and blog, selecting participants, communicating with department
       administrators and faculty members, and overseeing the summer school when in session.
Assistant to Professor Julie Peters, Harvard University English Dept.                   2010
      Worked with GSAS deans, the English Department, and the Committee on Dramatic
      Arts to create a new academic secondary field for graduate students at Harvard in
      Dramatic Studies.
Symposium Organizer and Moderator
     “Goldfaden and the Yiddish Theater: Shulamis and its Legacy”                       2009
     Convener of a landmark symposium at Harvard on Avrom Goldfaden, in conjunction
     with a historic production of Shulamis, co-directed by Debra Caplan and Cecelia Raker.
Fellow, Lily Center for Jewish Languages & Literatures                             2008 – 2010
      Invited speakers from around the globe to speak about Jewish languages at Harvard,
      designed syllabus for the two-year seminar, wrote grant proposals, ordered course
      materials, designed and maintained the Center’s website, made travel and lodging
      arrangements for speakers, communicated with department administrators, managed the
      Center’s office and budget, and organized conferences. Supervised by Prof. Marc Shell.
Founder and Artistic Director, Harvard Yiddish Players                                   2008 – 2010
     Founder of a student performance group that produced Yiddish plays at Harvard.
     Productions: Di Gantse Velt iz a Teater (2009) and Shulamis (2009) a full-scale bilingual
     production in a new translation by Nahma Sandrow with music by Zalmen Mlotek.
Seminar Co-Organizer and Session Chair, Jewish Languages and Literatures Seminar
     at the American Comparative Literature Association Annual Meeting held at Harvard
     University in March 2009.
Workshop Co-Coordinator, Yiddish Break at Brandeis University                            2008
     Invited presenters, scheduled presentations, led workshops on Yiddish theater & song.
Book Repository Assistant, National Yiddish Book Center                                 2003 – 2007
     Supervised book sorting and culling in the world’s largest Yiddish book warehouse, led
     tours for visitors of all ages about the history of Yiddish literature, researched and
     catalogued Yiddish books.
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PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
Invited Participant, Posen Summer Seminar (August 2011)
      Session theme: “The Language and Literature of Jewish Secularism.”
Workshop, “Advanced Communication Practices for Teachers and Scholars,”
     Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning, Harvard University (Summer 2011)
Invited Participant, Teagle Seminar in “Designing the Course of the Future,”
      Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning, Harvard University (Spring 2011)
      Nominated by my department and selected by the Bok Center to participate in this
      university-wide program in course design and development. Included the creation of a
      syllabus and assignments for a proposed course on “Immigrant Theater in America.”
Graduate Writing Fellow, Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning (Spring 2010)
     A semester-long program on teaching writing and using writing as a pedagogical tool in
     the classroom, including the creation and execution of a teaching plan for the course:
     “The Romance: From Jane Austen to Chick Lit.”
COMMITTEES AND SERVICE
GSAS Committee on Graduate Education, Harvard University (2008 – 2009)
     Member of University-wide committee responsible for considering all matters concerning
     graduate education and for advising the Dean of Faculty and the Dean of the Graduate
     School.
American Comparative Literature Association Planning Committee (2008 – 2009)
Graduate Student Funding Committee, American Society for Theatre Research (2008)
Prize Reviewer, Harvard Center for Jewish Studies, Harvard University (2009)
       Reader for the Norman Podhoretz Prize in Jewish Studies and the Selma and Lewis
      Weinstein Prize in Jewish Studies.
Library Volunteer, Vanserg Yiddish Library, Harvard University (2007 – 2010)

LANGUAGES
Advanced proficiency: Yiddish, Hebrew
Reading ability: German, French, some Polish and Russian
Certificates
Haifa Summer Hebrew Ulpan, Haifa University, Israel                                       2009
The First International Birobidzhan Program in Yiddish Language and Culture               2007
Vilnius Summer Yiddish Program, Vilnius University, Lithuania                             2006
Tel Aviv Summer Yiddish Program, Tel Aviv University, Israel                              2006

PROFESSIONAL MEMBERSHIPS
Association for Jewish Studies
American Society for Theatre Research
Association for Theatre in Higher Education
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American Theatre and Drama Society
Modern Languages Association
American Comparative Literature Association
Graduate Associate, Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies, Harvard University

SELECTED THEATER & FILM EXPERIENCE
Artistic Director      Shulamis (film)                 Unrendered Productions, 2010
Co-Director & Producer Shulamis                         Harvard Yiddish Players, 2009
Director & Producer    Di Gantse Velt iz a Teater       Harvard Yiddish Players, 2009
Workshop Director      Yiddish Acting Workshop          Yiddish Break at Brandeis, 2008
Workshop Director      Yiddish Acting Workshop          Birobidzhan Yiddish Program, 2007
Music Director         Yackadayou Bratislayou          Hampshire College, 2007
Translator & Director  The Magic Mirror                 National Yiddish Book Center, 2006
Production Intern       (2002 season)                   Muhlenberg Summer Theatre Co.
Stage Management Intern (2001 season)             Muhlenberg Summer Theatre Co.

Artistic Grants and Sponsorship:
Awarded artistic grants for theater projects by the following organizations:
       Harvard Office for the Arts (2009)
       Learning from Performers Program at Harvard (2009)
       Harvard Center for Jewish Studies (2008; 2009)
       The Lucius N. Littauer Foundation (2009)
       Harvard Library Judaica Division (2009)
       Harvard University Hillel (2008; 2009)
       The Harold Grinspoon Foundation Jewish Arts and Culture Initiative (2006 - 2007)
       The National Yiddish Book Center (2006)
       Hampshire College Jewish Studies Program (2006)
       Hampshire College Theatre Program (2006)

REFERENCES

Ruth R. Wisse, Martin Peretz Professor of Yiddish Literature and Professor of Comparative
Literature, Harvard University. (617) 496.9050 or wisse@fas.harvard.edu.

Martin Puchner, Professor of English and Comparative Literature, Harvard University. (617)
495.2533 or puchner@fas.harvard.edu.

Joel Berkowitz, Professor of Foreign Languages and Literatures and Director of the Stahl
Center for Jewish Studies, University of Wisconsin at Madison. (414) 229.6551 or
berkowit@uwm.edu.

Justin Cammy, Associate Professor of Jewish Studies, Smith College. (413) 585.3639 or
jcammy@smith.edu

Julie Stone Peters, Professor of English and Comparative Literature, Columbia University.
(212) 854.2472 or peters@columbia.edu.

				
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