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Dr Barbara Henry


Associate Professor

Barbara Henry (D.Phil. Oxon.) is an associate professor in the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures and an affiliate of the Stroum Jewish Studies Center at the University of Washington, Seattle. She is the author of Rewriting Russia: Jacob Gordin’s Yiddish Drama (University of Washington Press, 2011), a study of the Russian-Jewish playwright’s adaptations of Russian literary texts for New York’s Yiddish theatre. She is co-editor, with Joel Berkowitz, of Inventing the Modern Yiddish Stage (Wayne State University Press, 2012), which examines the Yiddish theatre as a global phenomenon that was both a product of and component in the creation of a modern Jewish identity. Dr. Henry’s current research includes an annotated translation of the memoirs of the Yiddish actor Avrom Fishzon (1848-1922), one of the pioneers of the early Yiddish stage in Russia. She is also working on a monograph about the underworld descent or katabasis motif in pre-Revolutionary Russian literature, a chapter of which appeared in the July, 2018 issue of The Russian Review (“Bulgakov’s Young Doctor in the Land of the Dead”). Dr. Henry has also, somehow, become involved in medical humanities, a relatively new discipline that looks at medicine as a form of narrative, and explores the meaning and practice of medicine in and through art. She is supposed to be writing something for someone about medical humanities in Russian literature. Dr. Henry is a contributing editor for the Digital Yiddish Theatre Project (, a digital humanities collective that publishes scholarship on the history of the Yiddish stage. She can also be seen on YouTube in “So, Why Yiddish?” (, a close reading of a poem by Aaron Tseitlin that has been viewed more than 25,000 times.

Last updated: Jul 2019