Graduate Student, Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures
Juana Torralbo is a Ph.D. student in Germanic Languages and Literatures. In her research, she investigates literary artifacts (drama, short stories, and travelogues) and journalistic pieces that give us an insight into the daily lives of German and Yiddish speakers at the end of the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth century in Central and Eastern Europe. She is particularly interested in how individuals navigate multilingual spaces and how these spaces are (re-)created in literature. Her dissertation project focuses on the depiction of the Ostjude (the East European Jew) in German-language texts published in the interwar period by writers of Jewish heritage. By interrogating the representation of those individuals configured in their texts as stereotypical Ostjuden and the cultural spaces that these figures occupy within the narratives, her dissertation interrogates how shifting notions of Jewish community become projection screens for larger questions about ideas of a modern Jewish self in German-language literary production in the years preceding the rise of Nazism.