Professor Robert A. Rothstein of languages, literatures, and cultures, and Judaic and Near Eastern studies, participated in a panel on the folklore of World War I during the annual meeting of the American Folklore Society held Oct. 16-19 in Providence.
His paper, titled "Singing on Both Sides of the Front Lines," dealt with Polish and Yiddish songs of the war.
Present in the audience was Itzik Gottesman, a folklorist and staff writer for the Yiddish newspaper Forverts. After the panel Gottesman interviewed Rothstein; his interview was published in Yiddish online and in the print edition of the newspaper with the title "From Mathematics to Folkloristics." The interview traced Rothstein's path from an undergraduate major in mathematics at MIT to a Ph.D. in Slavic linguistics at Harvard and discussed his work on Slavic and Yiddish folklore.