Suzanne Klingenstein

Susanne Klingenstein is assistant professor of writing and humanistic studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She is also the book review editor of Modern Jewish Studies. In addition to Jews in the American Academy, 1900–1940: The Dynamics of Intellectual Assimilation, Klingenstein has written articles on Jewish American intellectuals, Jewish women, and the Holocaust. A graduate of the University of Heidelberg (M.A., Ph.D.), Brandeis University (M.A.), and the University of Mannheim (B.A.), Klingenstein’s most recent work focuses on Jewish American literary scholars from 1930–1990.

Articles by this author

Literature Scholars in the United States

At the start of the twenty-first century, women of all classes, races, and ethnicities are so fully integrated into American literary academia that it is astonishing that, as little as a century ago, the idea of a woman professor teaching, for example, the novels of George Eliot or Henry James to a roomful of young men and women was inconceivable. In all highly literate cultures, secular and religious knowledge used to be the domain of men, while women were in charge of the practical side of daily life and, in the upper classes, of certain social matters.

Carolyn G. Heilbrun

Carolyn (Gold) Heilbrun was born on January 13, 1926, in East Orange, New Jersey, the only child of Archibald and Estelle (Roemer) Gold. Her father, who came to America from Russia around 1900 as a destitute, Yiddish-speaking child, became a certified public accountant and rose to riches as a partner in a brokerage firm. He lost his wealth in the Depression, and in 1932 the family moved to Manhattan on borrowed money. Although Carolyn’s father gradually rebuilt his fortune, her mother remained deeply traumatized by the family’s sudden loss of security and social status. Born in America to religious Austrian-Jewish parents as the first of seven children, Estelle Roemer cut her ties to the Jewish world as a young woman. According to Heilbrun, she “identified all that limited her life as Judaism.” Archibald Gold, whom she married in 1919 when both were twenty-three years old, had also distanced himself from his Jewish past.

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Suzanne Klingenstein." (Viewed on April 19, 2019) <https://jwa.org/encyclopedia/author/klingenstein-suzanne>.

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