Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

Jewish Studies, Yiddish Studies, diaspora/foreign-language film, audiovisual translation, sociolinguistics, language transmission, language reclamation, language revitalisation, the Holocaust and its aftermath, Australian Jewish history, Australian Jewish literature, Australian Jewish culture, queer Yiddishkeit.


Research activity per year

Personal profile


I am a professor and Pratt Foundation Chair of Jewish Civilisation at the Australian Centre for Jewish Civilisation (ACJC) in the School of Philosophical, Historical & International Studies (SOPHIS) in the Faculty of Arts. I joined Monash University from the University of Ottawa, Canada in 2020.

My primary area of research is the cultural production of migrants and their descendants, in particular as it intersects with to linguistic transmission. My research focus is the continuity of the Yiddish language in the areas of education, organisational life, literature, theatre, cinema and new media.

In addition to journal articles and book chapters on Yiddish continuity, I have authored two books that focus on Canada: Jewish Roots, Canadian Soil: Yiddish Cultural Life in Montreal, 1905-1945 (2011) and ייִדיש לעבט Yiddish Lives On: Journeys of Language Revitalization (2023) Since my arrival to Australia, I have become interested in past and contemporary Jewish cultural life in Melbourne. I have recently published studies on Holocaust literature and Yiddish music, and have also served as Yiddish translator and dialogue coach for local theatre productions (Yentl and A Very Jewish Christmas Carol). 

My ongoing research project, New Yiddish Cinema, investigates a 20th and 21st-century corpus of film and television created in a Jewish diaspora language that few of its creators, actors or viewers speak. The project examines the (re)construction of semiotically meaningful dialogue as well as the processes of screen translation in the production and reception of cinema in a lesser-used language. My book, The Yiddish Supernatural on Screen: Dybbuks, Demons and a Haunted Jewish Past (2024), examines how cinematic and televisual language signals difficults pasts and mysterious presents. In addition to a recent article on Yiddish comedy in American film and television, I am currently working on a manuscript interrogates why and how we hear Yiddish on screen as funny.  

My scholarly and supervisory interests include:

  • Language reclamation and revitalisation;
  • Jewish sociolinguistics;
  • Yiddish screen production, including film, television and new media, from the 1920s through the present;
  • Ethnic and religious representation on screen; 
  • Jewish comedy;
  • Film translation and subtitling, in particular as it pertains in lesser-spoken languages;
  • The Australian Jewish experience as reflected in its culture;
  • Memory of the Holocaust and its aftermath in literature, film, and performance.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Education/Academic qualification

Yiddish Studies/Germanic Languages, MA-PhD, Columbia University

Jewish Studies, BA, McGill University

Research area keywords

  • Yiddish Studies
  • Foreign-language film
  • Holocaust and Genocide Studies
  • Language revitalization
  • Australian Cultural History
  • Migrant History
  • Canadian Studies
  • Film translation
  • Intercultural cinema
  • Jewish Studies
  • Translation Studies
  • Sociolinguistics
  • Comedy
  • Audiovisual translation