Benjamin Paloff received the Ph.D. in Slavic Languages and Literatures from Harvard University in 2007 and has been teaching at the University of Michigan since then. He is the author of Lost in the Shadow of the Word (Space, Time, and Freedom in Interwar Eastern Europe) (Northwestern University Press, 2016), which was named 2018 Best Book in Literary Studies by the American Association of Teachers of Slavic and East European Languages, and of two poetry collections, And His Orchestra (2015) and The Politics (2011), both published by Carnegie Mellon University Press. He has translated about a dozen books and many shorter literary and theoretical texts from Polish, Czech, Russian, and Yiddish, notably works Dorota Masłowska, Marek Bieńczyk, Richard Weiner, and Yuri Lotman, and he has received grants and fellowships from the Michigan Society of Fellows (2007-2010), Poland’s Book Institute (2010), the Stanford Humanities Center (2013), and the National Endowment for the Arts (2009, 2016). His research focuses on philosophical dilemmas, particularly in metaphysics and the ethics of representation, in modern Central and Eastern European literature, as well as on translation theory and practice.
Languages: Polish, Russian, Czech, Yiddish
Awards: LSA Michigan Humanities Award, 2019; Best Book in Literary Studies (AATSEEL), 2018; NEA Fellowship in Translation, 2016
- Comparative Literature
- Slavic Languages & Literatures
- Frankel Center for Judaic Studies
Fields of Study:
- comparative approaches to modern Russian, Polish, and Czech literatures
- philosophy in literature
- translation in theory and practice
- Dorota Masłowska. Honey, I Killed the Cats. Trans. Benjamin Paloff. Dallas: Deep Vellum, 2019.
- Bożena Keff. On Mother and Fatherland. Trans. Benjamin Paloff and Alissa Valles. Asheville, NC: MadHat Press/Plume Editions, 2017.
- Benjamin Paloff. Lost in the Shadow of the Word (Space, Time, and Freedom in Interwar Eastern Europe). Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press, 2016.
- Benjamin Paloff. And His Orchestra: Poems. Pittsburgh: Carnegie Mellon University Press, 2015.
- Richard Weiner. The Game for Real. Trans. Benjamin Paloff. San Francisco: Two Lines Press, 2015.
- Krzysztof Michalski. The Eternal Flame: Essays on Friedrich Nietzsche. Trans. Benjamin Paloff. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2012.
- Marek Bienczyk. Transparency. Trans. Benjamin Paloff. Urbana-Champagne: Dalkey Archive Press, 2011.
- Andrzej Sosnowski. Lodgings: Selected Poems. Rochester, NY: Open Letter, 2011.
- Benjamin Paloff. The Politics: Poems. Pittsburgh: Carnegie Mellon University Press, 2011.