Queer Expectations: A Genealogy of Jewish Women's Poetry

Research output: Book/ReportBookpeer-review


Jewish women have had a fraught relationship with history, struggling for inclusion while resisting their limited role as (re)producers of the future. In Queer Expectations, Zohar Weiman-Kelman shows how Jewish women writers turned to poetry to write new histories, developing "queer expectancy" as a conceptual tool for understanding how literary texts can both invoke and resist what came before. Bringing together Jewish women's poetry from the late nineteenth century, the interwar period, and the 1970s and 1980s, Weiman-Kelman takes readers on a boundary-crossing journey through works in English, Yiddish, and Hebrew, setting up encounters between writers of different generations, locations, and languages. Queer Expectations highlights genealogical lines of continuity drawn by authors as diverse as Emma Lazarus, Kadya Molodowsky, Leah Goldberg, Anna Margolin, Irena Klepfisz, and Adrienne Rich. These poets push back against heteronormative imperatives of biological reproduction and inheritance, opting instead for connections that twist traditional models of gender and history. Looking backward in queer ways enables new histories to emerge, intervenes in a troubled present, and gives hope for unexpected futures.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherState University of New York Press
Number of pages232
ISBN (Electronic)9781438472249
ISBN (Print)9781438472232, 9781438472225
StatePublished - Dec 2018

Publication series

NameSUNY Series in Contemporary Jewish Literature and Culture
PublisherState University of New York Press


  • Hebrew poetry
  • Lesbianism in literature
  • Jewish lesbians
  • Yiddish poetry
  • Lesbians in literature
  • Jewish poetry
  • Hebrew poetry, Modern


Dive into the research topics of 'Queer Expectations: A Genealogy of Jewish Women's Poetry'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this