Professor and author Shachar Pinsker checks in from Ann Arbor after a month-long walloping by COVID-19. We get into how his recent book, A Rich Brew: How Cafés Created Modern Jewish Culture (NYU Press), informed his understanding of the pandemic’s effect on people, how social isolation may affect the exchange of ideas, the post-COVID energy and inspiration he’s feeling for new writing projects like pieces on the nature & future of conviviality and the history of the feuilleton, how his family in Israel is coping, and whether he can taste coffee again. We also talk about how he had to learn online teaching on the fly, what it takes to develop a good asynchronous course, and why teaching during this experience helped him as much as it did his students. Give it a listen! And go read A Rich Brew!
You can listen to all these COVID Check-In episodes at The COVID-19 Sessions.
About our Guest
Shachar Pinsker is Professor of Hebrew Literature and Culture at the University of Michigan. He is the author of Literary Passports: The Making of Modernist Hebrew Fiction in Europe and A Rich Brew: How Cafés Created Modern Jewish Culture.
Credits: The conversation was recorded remotely via Zencastr. I used a Heil PR-40 Dynamic Studio Recording Microphone feeding into a Cloudlifter CL-1 and a Mackie Onyx Blackjack 2×2 USB Recording Interface. All processing and editing done in Adobe Audition CC. Photo of Shachar by him or someone else. It’s on my instagram.