Karen Underhill

Assistant Professor


University of Chicago, Ph.D. (2011), M.A. in Polish Literature and Jewish Studies
University of Michigan – Ann Arbor, B.A. in Comparative Literature

Areas of Specialization

  • Polish Modernism
  • Polish-Jewish Culture and History
  • Yiddish Literature & Language
  • Polish-Jewish Relations
  • Messianism in Romantic and Modern Literature & Philosophy
Additional Interests
  • Democratic Transition in Central & Eastern Europe
  • Women’s, LGBTQ & minority experience in post-transition Poland
  • Language acquisition & pedagogy
Selected Publications

    “Next Year in Drohobych:  On the Uses of Jewish Absence” – East European Politics and Societies, August 2011, 581-596.

    “Writing in the Third Language: Between Sacred and Profane in Gershom Scholem and Jacques Derrida,” in The Effect of Palimpsest, edited by Bożena Shallcross and Ryszard Nycz. (Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang Publishing Group, 2011), 211-226.

    “Ecstasy and Heresy: Martin Buber, Bruno Schulz and Jewish Modernity”, in (Un)masking Bruno Schulz: New Combinations, Further Fragmentations, Ultimate Reintegrations, edited by Dieter de Bruyn and Kris Van Heuckelom. (Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2009), 27-47.

    Aux Grands Hommes de la Parole: The Verbal Messiah in Mickiewicz’s Paris Lectures”.  Slavic and East European Journal, Vol. 45, No. 4 (Winter, 2001), pp. 716-731.

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Contact Information

Office: 1614 UH, MC 306
Phone: 312-413-8175
Fax: 312-413-1044
Email: kcu@uic.edu