I am a writer and academic with a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature and a strong arts and interdisciplinary background. My research has spanned Holocaust, trauma, and black studies. My book,
Words and Witness: Narrative and Aesthetic Strategies in the Representation of the Holocaust,
appeared in 2000 (SUNY) and was a study of the techniques by which writers put experiences that exceed words, into words. I have also been drawn to research and work on neglected figures whose contributions were both stellar and unrecognized. Hence my work on the 19th century American black legislator and historian, George Washington Williams as well as on the similarly unrecognized 20th century composer and pianist, Stanley Babin.
I was privileged to have worked with the historian John Hope Franklin, Williams' biographer, for the last three years of his life and put together a scholarly workshop on Williams that took place at the Cardozo School of Law in 2009. In my effort to bring Babin's pianistic legacy to the world, I have put together a website that serves as an archive of Babin's performances over his lifetime – all of them privately recorded and commercially unavailable. For a period of ten years in the latter part of Babin's life, I produced Babin's New York concerts and now direct the Babin Historic Recordings Project begun by the composer Lee Hoiby.
My creative writing includes plays and poetry. I have had staged readings of two of my plays. A CUNY Collaborative Grant resulted in the art book version of one of my plays in the style of the beautiful fifteenth century illuminated Passover Haggadah.
My most recent projects are deeply influenced by the work of Ohad Naharin, the artistic director of the BatSheva Dance Company, whose innovative approach to the body and to dance movement, known as Gaga, is the basis of two book projects in which I am currently engaged:
The Gaga Interviews and
The Gaga Poems. Selections from the latter were the focus of a performance directed by the French director, Astrid Bas, at the Laba Theater in New York in 2017. I am also working on a photographic treatment of Tel Aviv's Rothchild Boulevard which is influenced by Gaga as well.
At Kingsborough, in addition to remedial reading and writing courses, I teach Modern European Literature and 20th century non-Western World Literature. As of 2015, I have combined two trainings in teamwork into the design of my classes and have presented this pedagogy at our Faculty Forum under the title "The Possible Class: The New Physics of the Classroom."
Theater reviews and criticism at www.offoffonline.com.
2015 to present
The Stanley Babin Society (music archive and website). Digital music archive of “The Stanley Babin Society: Celebrating the Legendary Artistry of Stanley Babin.” The website uses the global platform of the web to fully archive, preserve and make available, the musical achievement of a neglected composer and pianist, Stanley Babin.
2011 - present
The Gaga Poems. "Into the Night." A poetry / dance performance directed by Astrid Bas at the Laba Theater, NYC.
w/Hole in the Heart (play). Staged reading. The Sonnet Theater at The Producer's Club, NYC.
w/Hole in the Heart. Staged reading. Neve Schechter, Tel Aviv.
The Babin Historical Recordings Project (see digital archive at web, www. stanleybabinsociety.org).
"When Green Goldfish Sing," from The Gaga Poems. The Flatbush Review.
w/Hole in the Heart. Starring Suzanne Toren.Metropolitan Playhouse, NYC.
Un Trou Au Coeur. w/Hole in the Heart newly translated into French by Cheryl Weisberg.
Ice Skating. The Drama Center and The Writer's Voice. Directed by Suzanne Toren. The Marjorie Dean Theater, NYC.
w/Hole in the Heart Staged reading. The Next Stage, NYC.
w/Hole in the Heart. Staged reading. Festival of the Arts. United Nations Committee on the Status of Women. NYC.
w/Hole in the Heart: An Illuminated Play. Print-ready hand-bound art book designed in the style of mid-15th century illuminated manuscripts.Illustrations by JudithWilde, book design by Olga Mezhibovskaya.
"Piotr Rawicz." Holocaust Literature. Ed. Lillian Kremer. Routeledge.
"The Horror Of History," Reading Night. Ed. Wendy Mass. Greenhaven Press.
Words and Witness: Narrative and Aesthetic Strategies in the Representation of the Holocaust. (SUNY).
Conversations: A Newsletter on Pedagogy, Ed. L. Hamaoui (Fridman), Vol. 1 – 3.
1996 - 1998
"Art and Testimony: Representations of Historical Horror in Literary Works by Piotr Rawicz and Charlotte Delbo." Cardozo Studies in Law and Literature 3.2.
“The Shape of Night.” Elie Wiesel: Between Memory and Hope. Ed. Carol Ritner. NYU Press.
Dimensions: A Journal of Holocaust Studies. Ed. L. Hamaoui (Fridman), E. Fine, et al., Anti-Defamation League, B'nai Brith.
"Aharon Appelfeld's Badenheim 1939: A Study of an Image." Remembering for the Future. Ed. Yehudah Bauer. New York: Elsevier Science.
"Narrative Strategies in the Representation of the Holocaust." Centerpoint: A Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies 4.1.
Centerpoint: A Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies (Special Issue on the Holocaust). Ed. J. Gerber, E. Fine, L Hamaoui (Fridman), R. Lamont.
"Sound as Image in Stevens' 'Not Ideas About the Thing But The Thing Itself.' "Comparative Literature Studies 17.3.
“The Possible Classroom: The New Physics of Teams and Teamwork in the Classroom,” Kingsborough Faculty Forum.
Cardozo School of Law Conference (organized and led). “From The Slave System of the American South to the Forced
Labor System of Leopold’s Congo,” sponsored by the Program
in Holocaust and Human Rights Studies. (March 27 and May 3, 2009).
“George Washington Williams: The Case of a Neglected American Hero,” sponsored by the Franklin Humanities Institute
and the Duke Center For Human Rights, Duke University.
Web podcast of my interview of John Hope Franklin
available on the Franklin Humanities Institute website and on YouTube.
“An Upriver Journey,” President’s Scholarly Forum. Kingsborough Community College.
Cardozo School of Law, Program in Holocaust and Human Rights Studies, performance and panel discussion of Lea Fridman’s
play w/Hole in the Heart. Starring Suzanne Toren with Abdul
Mohammed and directed by Robert Kalfin; with panelists: Lillian
Kremer and Bernard Schlink and co-sponsored by Kingsborough Community College. The Center for Jewish History, NYC.
“Art and Political Violence in the Twentieth Century: An Approach to Freshman English.” BMCC Center for Teaching.
Genocide and Denial: A Conference in Memory of Terrence Des Pres, Colgate University. Respondent.
“The Story of the Whisper: Words, Limit and the Shape of Traumatic Utterance,” Religion, Politics and Cultural Dynamics. Cornell University.
“Writing Identities: Fragmentation or Integration,” CUNY English Forum, CUNY Graduate School and University Center.
“The Body as Witness: An Examination of the Prose Style of Charlotte Delbo,” International Assn. for Literature and Philosophy. University of California.
“Poetics of Mourning,” International Assn. for Literature and Philosophy. University of Notre Dame. Respondent.
“Film and the Holocaust,” International Association for Literature and Philosophy, University of Notre Dame. Respondent.
“Symbol, Allegory and a Rhetoric of Intentionality,” American Comparative Literature Association. Graduate Student
Conference in English, CUNY Graduate School and University Center.
“Works of Literature as Self-Contained Entities,” CUNY Conference in English, CUNY Graduate School and University Center.
University Faculty Senate (elected alternate senator).
2002 - 2006
KCC Representative: CUNY Celebrates Diversity.
CUNY Governance Leader designee to represent Kingsborough (UFS).
University Colloquium on Race, Class and Gender.
1998 – 1999
Chair and Liaison for the PSC CUNY Awards Program panel for English and Creative Writing panels (supervising the distribution yearly of approximately $300,00).
1995 - 1998
Chair of the Arts and Humanities Division, Executive Committee of the University Committee on Research Awards.
University Committee on Writing in the Disciplines, panel member.
1994 - 1995
Department and College Activities
Creative Writing Program Committee.
2016 – present
1998 - present
Coordinator: KCC Reads college-wide community reading program.
2000 – 2012
Chair of the Kingsborough Faculty Assembly responsible for work on governance and KCC Reads.
The Open Forum, English department (with Matthew Gartner).
Antheon, faculty advisor for student literary arts journal.
1995 – 2005
Syllabi for World Lit. and European Lit. courses written for department.
Kingsborough, Faculty Assembly, Learn-In on the Genocide in Darfur.
Kingsborough Faculty Assembly, Learn-In on American Policy in Iraq.
Antheon Open-Mic Poetry and Arts Slam. Initiated and led these events.
1999 – 2000
Editor of Conversations: A Newsletter on Pedagogy. This was a publication circulated within our department and across
the University to encourage dialogue among English departments within the University.
1995 - 1999
Chair of English 12/24 Committee. Charged with the review and rewriting of the syllabi for these two required courses.
1997 - 1998
1995 – 1998
Developmental Sequence Curriculum Revision Committee.
1993 – 1996
Committee on Freshman English.
1992 - 1993
Freshman English Examination Committee.
1992 – 1993
Kingsborough Scholar’s Award, “The ‘Possible Classroom: The New Physics of Teams and Teamwork in the Classroom.”
PSC CUNY Research Award, “Completing the Legacy.”
Kingsborough Scholar’s Award, “John Hope Franklin: Historian, Survivor, Witness, American Scholar.”
PSC CUNY Research Award, “John Hope Franklin: Biography of an American Scholar.”
PSC CUNY Research Award, “George Washington Williams: American Hero.”
PSC CUNY Research Award , “American Hero.”
Kingsborough Scholar’s Award, “George Washington Williams.”
PSC CUNY Creative Writing Panel, American Hero (play).
Presidential Faculty Innovation Award.
Sundance Theater Lab Finalist (w/Hole in the Heart – play).
PSC CUNY Ethnic and Area Studies Panel, “Indexing Genocide.”
PSC CUNY Creative Writing Award, Ice Skating: A Courtroom Drama and Farce (play).
CUNY Community College Collaborative Grant. w/Hole in the Heart: An Illuminated Play (with Judith Wilde, Art Department).
PSC CUNY Creative Writing Award, When Green Goldfish Sing (poetry).
PSC CUNY Research Award, “In the Blood Space of Mutuality: J. Hillis Miller’s ‘Heart of Darkness Revisited’ and the Critical Enterprise.”
Honoree, CUNY Salute to Scholars.
NEH Summer Seminar at Harvard University. “War and Memory: Representations of World War II and the Occupation in French Literature, Film and History. Directed by Susan R. Suleiman.
July - August 2000
Kingsborough Scholar’s Award, “In the Blood Space of Mutuality.”
Kingsborough Scholar’s Award, “A Critical Survey of Notions of Witnessing in the Disciplines of Holocaust Studies.”
Fellow, Jack P. Eisner Center for Holocaust Studies.
Fellow, Center for European Studies, CUNY Graduate School and University Center.
Fellow, American Association of University Women.
1981 - 1982
“Distinction,” Comparative Literature Doctoral Oral Exams. Henri Peyre, presiding with Irving Howe and Rosette Lamont.
Fellow, Jack P. Eisner Center for Holocaust Studies.
Modern Language Association