Franke Visiting Fellows

The Franke Visiting Fellows Program is intended to ensure ongoing interdisciplinary exchange and creative debate at the Whitney in particular and at Yale in general. The Fellows serve as catalysts for intellectual gatherings at the Whitney Humanities Center, setting their own agendas and presenting their work to the community. Franke Visiting Fellows are an integral part of the WHC fellowship, participating in weekly luncheon talks and congenial conversation with other fellows, and are asked to deliver one public talk or presentation.

The Franke Visiting Fellows Program is made possible by the generosity of Mr. and Mrs. Richard Franke.

James McAuley, "Jewish Survival and Holocaust Memory: Salo Baron and the Twentieth Century"

Thursday, April 07, 2022 4:00pm

HQ, room 136 (320 York Street)

This talk will examine the life and thought of Salo Baron, one of the great twentieth-century historians who was among the first to bring Jewish Studies to the American university. The talk will trace Baron’s commitment to rebutting the so-called lachrymose conception of Jewish history by emphasizing the theme of survival, but it will also examine that critique in the context of Holocaust memory that gradually began to emerge after the Second World War.

James McAuley is a contributing columnist for The Washington Post writing on European affairs. During his Franke Fellowship at the Whitney, he is continuing research on his next book, “Black Milk of Dawn.” While at Yale, he will also be finishing a short biography of the Zionist benefactor Edmond de Rothschild, for the Jewish Lives biography series at Yale University Press. This follows the publication in 2021 of his first book, The House of Fragile Things: Jewish Art Collectors and the Fall of France, also with Yale University Press. He earned his PhD in Modern European History at Oxford in 2016, where he studied as a Marshall Scholar.

Poster

Alejandra Oliva, "You Can’t Translate What You Can’t See: Between Languages in the U.S. Immigration System"

Thursday, April 21, 2022 4:00pm

HQ, room 136 (320 York Street)

How are power structures and empathy implicated in translation? What do we owe asylum seekers, and the stories they bring? What does it mean to bear witness, or to take action? Based on her experiences as an observer and translator in different parts of the U.S. immigration system, Alejandra Oliva reflects on the ways, both big and small, that the system fails the people within it—and the shift required to fix it.

Alejandra Oliva is an essayist, embroiderer, and translator working in immigration advocacy. Her writing has been included in Best American Travel Writing 2020, nominated for a Pushcart prize, and helped her secure an Aspen Summer Words Emerging Writers Fellowship. She is the translator for a bilingual edition of A Is for Asylum Seeker by Rachel Ida Buff (2020, Fordham University Press).

Her nonfiction chapbook, Declaration, was published by Guillotine Books (2016). She holds a Master of Theological Studies degree from Harvard Divinity School and works as a communications coordinator at the National Immigrant Justice Center. She lives in Chicago with her husband and their dog. You can see her latest work at olivalejandra.com

During her Franke Visiting Fellowship, Oliva plans to complete her upcoming book project on translation at the U.S.-Mexico border. Her book, Rivermouth, is forthcoming from Astra House in 2023.

Poster

In spring term 2022, the Whitney Humanities Center will welcome two Franke Visiting Fellows: James McAuley and Alejandra Oliva.

James McAuley is a Paris-based contributing columnist for The Washington Post writing on European affairs. During his Franke Fellowship at the Whitney, he will continue research on his next book, Black Milk of Dawn (whose title comes from a haunting poem by Celan). 

Black Milk of Dawn is a narrative history of the construction and evolution of Holocaust memory across countries and generations. This vast project involves following the decades-long battle over Holocaust remembrance, tracing the major figures in that fight—some legendary, others still relatively unknown—from the height of the Second World War through our present moment, when Holocaust revisionism and denial have continued to rise in spite of increased public awareness. In telling this story, his aim will also be to investigate larger questions about how best to remember and memorialize the most violent atrocities from our past (and our present).

Yale itself plays a critical role in this saga, and Jake looks forward to working in the Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, whose story will be a crucial part of the book.

While at Yale, Jake will also be finishing a short biography of the Zionist benefactor Edmond de Rothschild, for the “Jewish Lives” biography series at Yale University Press. This follows the publication in 2021 of his first book, The House of Fragile Things: Jewish Art Collectors and the Fall of France, also with Yale University Press. He earned his PhD in Modern European History at Oxford in 2016, where he studied as a Marshall Scholar.

Alejandra Oliva is an essayist, embroiderer, and translator working in immigration advocacy. Her writing has been included in Best American Travel Writing 2020, nominated for a Pushcart prize, and helped her secure an Aspen Summer Words Emerging Writers Fellowship.  She is the translator for a bilingual edition of A Is for Asylum Seeker by Rachel Ida Buff (2020, Fordham University Press).

Her nonfiction chapbook, Declaration, was published by Guillotine Books (2016). She holds a Master of Theological Studies degree from Harvard Divinity School and works as a communications coordinator at the National Immigrant Justice Center. She lives in Chicago with her husband and their dog. You can see her latest work at olivalejandra.com

During her Franke Visiting Fellowship, Oliva plans to complete her upcoming book project on translation at the U.S.-Mexico border.