Faculty Directory » Michael Hoberman

English Studies

Office Hours:

Semester: Spring 2015
Thursday ~ 11:00-12:15 & Friday ~ 12:30-1:45

Office Information:

Room Number: MILLER HALL ~ 213
Phone: 978-665-3746
Email: mhoberman@fitchburgstate.edu

Courses Taught:

Special Authors: Philip Roth
New England Literature and Culture (senior seminar)
American Romanticism
Jewish American Literature and Culture
Folklore in America
Ethnic American Literature
African American Literature (19th and 20th centuries)
American Novel After WWII
American Novel to 1950
Storytelling and the Oral Tradition
Mark Twain & American Humor
American Literature I
Children’s Literature
World Literature I
Writing I & II
Jewish American Literature and Culture (undergraduate and graduate levels)
Folklore in America (undergraduate and graduate levels)
American Art and Literature, 1800-1860 (graduate)
Culture & Literature of (graduate)
American Modernism (graduate)


Ph.D. University of Massachusetts, Amherst (English and American Studies)
M.A. University of Massachusetts, Amherst (English and American Studies)
B.A. Reed College (American Studies)

Research Interests:

Jewish American literature and culture
Folklore and oral history
New England literature and culture

Current Projects:

I am currently completing journal articles on the Jewish community of London, Jewish family correspondence during the American Revolution, and on readings of the Book of Exodus during the American Civil War .  My book on Jews and Puritans in colonial New England was published by UMASS Press in November 2011. During 2008-2009, I conducted research for this book while on a long-term NEH Fellowship at the Massachusetts Historical Society in Boston.  I was a Fulbright Senior Professor of American Studies at Utrecht University, in the Netherlands, during the first half of 2010.  I was also the 2013 recipient of the Fitchburg State University Faculty Award for Research and Scholarship.

Representative Publications:

Publications: BOOKS

Jews in the Americas, 1621-1826.  Co-edited with Laura Leibman.  Pickering and Chatto (UK), 2014.

New Israel/New England: Jews and Puritans in Early America.  University of Massachusetts Press, 2011.

How Strange it Seems: Cultural Life of Jews in Small-Town New England. University of Massachusetts Press, 2008.

Yankee Moderns: Folk Regional Identity in the Sawmill Valley of Western Massachusetts, 1890-1920, University of Tennessee Press, 2000.


Wheaton College, Norton, MA.  Guest speaker for Norton Institute for Continuing Education (June 2014)

Roger Williams University, Bristol, RI.  Keynote speaker for film series on the Jewish experience (November 2013)


Sid and Ruth Lapidus Fellowship, American Jewish Historical Society (2014)

Tikvah Fund Advanced Institute Summer Fellowship, New York City (2014)


“Home of the Jewish Nation: London Jews in the Early American Imagination.”  Society of Early Americanists.  Kingston University, London, July 2014.

“Egyptian Principles Fastened to the People of Israel”: Particularist and Universalist Implications of Exodus in Antebellum America.”  Blacks, Jews, and Social Justice in America conference, Brandeis University, June 2014.

“"I hope you are safe arrived": fatherly counsel from an 18th century Canadian Jewish merchant.”  Northeast Modern Language Association Conference.  Harrisburg PA, March 2014.

Moderator/commentator for “How Tolerant?: Religious Liberty and Persecutions in 18th Century America.”  “The Spectacle of Toleration” Conference.  Newport, RI, October 2013.


“More Disgrace than Honor: The Diminishment of Paternal Authority in the Letters of Aaron
Hart.” American Jewish History, 98.4 (Fall 2014).

“‘The Confidence placed in you is of the Greatest Magnitude’: representations of paternal authority in early Jewish American letters.”  Studies in American Jewish Literature, 33.1 (Spring 2014).

“Rural Jews,” “Galina Gertzenson,” “Phyllis and Archie Nahman,” and “Harold Grinspoon and Diane Troderman,” essay contributions to the book Our Stories: The Jews of Western Massachusetts  Forthcoming from the Springfield Republican newspaper, 2014.

“Preppies,” and “Boarding Schools,” essay entries in The Encyclopedia of Youth Cultures in America, eds. Simon Bronner, Mary Napoli, and Cindy Dell Clark. M.E. Sharpe (2014).

“‘Under Their Captivity and Dispersion’: the story of Boston’s first Jewish business venture.”  Early American Studies, 9.3 (Fall 2012). 

“Be Worthy of Your Heritage: Jews and Tradition at Two New England Boarding Schools.”  In Revisioning Ritual: Jewish Traditions in Transition, ed. by Simon Bronner.  Littman Library of Jewish Civilization (2011).

“Connecticut Folklore,” “The Leatherman,” “Moodus Thunder,” “Windham Frog Fright,” and “The Ghost Ship of New Haven” in Encyclopedia of Connecticut History Online (a joint project of the Connecticut Humanities Council, Wesleyan University and the University of Connecticut).  Forthcoming in 2011.

“New England Folklore.” Chapter included in the New England volume of the American Regional Cultures series. Greenwood Press (2004).

“The Names of the Flowers: Ruby Hemenway’s Redemption of History.” Frontiers: A
Journal of Women’s Studies, 25.1 (Winter/Spring 2004).

“The Jews,”“The Berkshires,” and “The Mohawk Trail” essays in The Encyclopedia of New England Culture (eds. Burt Feintuch and David Watters). Yale University Press, 2005.

“Local Color: How Community Heritage Enhances Education.” Connection: New England's Journal of Higher Education and Economic Development, XVI.1 (Summer 2001).

“High Crimes and Falling Factories: Nostalgic Utopianism in an Eclipsed New England Town,” Oral History Review, 28.1 (Winter/Spring 2001).

“From Yankeedom to Hippiedom: A Public Folklorist Explores Four Generations of the Moores Corner Store,” Journal of Applied Folklore Volume 5.

“Demythologizing Myth Criticism: Folklife and Modernity in Eudora Welty’s ‘Death of a Travelling Salesman,” The Southern Quarterly, 30.1 (Fall, 1991): 24-34.

Book reviews published in American Historical Review, Journal of American Folklore, Clio, and Journal of the Illinois Historical Society.

Senior Consulting Editor for folklife section of Encyclopedia of New England Culture

Professional Affiliations:

Association for Jewish Studies