UB’s Jerold Frakes named a 2013-14 Guggenheim Foundation fellow

It is one of four prestigious humanities fellowships awarded to him this year

Jerold C. Frakes.

Jerold C. Frakes, PhD, UB professor of English, winner of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation fellowship 2013-14

Release Date: April 18, 2013 This content is archived.


BUFFALO, N.Y. – Jerold C. Frakes, PhD, professor of English at the University at Buffalo, a highly-regarded scholar of medieval literatures, has received a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation fellowship to support his study of the emergence of early Yiddish literature during the 2013-14 academic year.

The Guggenheim fellowships are often characterized as “mid-career” awards and are intended for men and women who have already demonstrated exceptional capacity for productive scholarship or exceptional creative ability in the arts.

Frakes is one of 175 scholars, artists and scientists in 56 disciplines to receive a Guggenheim fellowship this year, all of whom were chosen after a rigorous selection process from a pool of almost 3,000 applicants. It is a class that Edward Hirsch, president of the foundation, says represents “the best of the best.”

Frakes also has received three other prestigious fellowships for the 2013-14 academic year. They are:

  • A fellowship at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University. This extremely competitive program selects fewer than five percent of applicants and supports outstanding research projects in many disciplines.
  • A National Humanities Center fellowship.The center’s stated aim is to insure the continuing strength of the liberal arts and to affirm the importance of the humanities in American life.
  • A fellowship from the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales  (School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences), Paris, a leading French public institution for research and higher education, whose faculty includes many of France’s greatest humanities scholars.

Frakes is a scholar of medieval European literatures who joined the UB faculty in 2006, after many years as a professor of German and comparative literature at the University of Southern California.  

He is the author of four books about the literature of medieval and early modern Europe, most recently “Brides and Doom: Gender, Property Rights and Power in Medieval German Women’s Epic” and “Vernacular and Latin Literary Discourses of the Muslim Other in Medieval Germany.”

He has edited or translated nine other books, including several on Yiddish literature, and has given many invited lectures and conference papers. Frakes has served on the editorial board of several journals and as editor of the Yiddish Literature Division of the Encyclopaedia Judaica, second edition, published in 2006, and is the author of scores of essays, book reviews and articles in peer-reviewed journals.

He has received a number of other distinguished awards, grants and fellowships over the course of his career, notably a National Endowment for the Arts research fellowship and two fellowships from Germany’s Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.

Since it was established in 1926, the Guggenheim Foundation has granted more than $306 million in fellowships to more than 17,500 individuals, some of whom are Nobel Laureates, Poets Laureate, Pulitzer Prize winners, winners of Fields Medals from the International Mathematical Union and other internationally recognized honors.

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