Tom Tearney


B.A., The Ohio State University

M.St. in Yiddish Studies, University of Oxford (Wolfson College)

M.A. in Germanic Languages and Literatures, University of Pennsylvania

Tom Tearney is a PhD Candidate in Germanic Languages and Literatures. He comes to the University of Pennsylvania after earning dual B.A. degrees in German literature and in Yiddish Studies from The Ohio State University (2010, summa cum laude, research distinction).

Following undergraduate studies, Tom spent a year studying Polish language, literature, and culture in Warsaw and Krakow, including Jagiellonian University, while engaging in Yiddish literature seminars in Poland.

Tom then completed his Master of Studies degree in Yiddish Studies at the University of Oxford (Wolfson College, 2012). His Master’s thesis was titled “The lighter the day, the darker my hope: Family as mokem-miklet in Moyshe-Leyb Halpern’s poetry.”

While at Penn, Tom has continued his research in both Yiddish and German-Jewish literature. His area of focus is Austrian exile literature, with emphasis on Franz Werfel and his concept of history.

Tom has presented his research in Philadelphia and across the US, most recently at the Duke German-Jewish Studies Workshop and Conference.

Internationally, Tom has taken part in the Ausseer Gespräche in Bad Aussee, Austria. He has also completed research internships at the Jewish Museum Frankfurt am Main (2013) and the Deutsches Literaturarchiv Marbach (2016). In Frankfurt, Tom was a research assistant specializing in Old Yiddish texts, and also translated for the exhibition "Juden. Geld. Eine Vorstellung." At the DLA Marbach, he assisted the curator of the Helen und Kurt Wolff-Archiv, working on the literary estate of Schalom Ben-Chorin and curating an exhibition on the German-Jewish exile community in 1930s Sanary-sur-Mer, France.

At Penn, Tom has greatly enjoyed teaching German 101-103, as well as serving as a Teaching Assistant with Prof. Simon Richter for a course on the Faust theme, "The Devil's Pact in Literature, Music, and Film."

In AY 2017-2018, Tom will be conducting research in Vienna as a Fulbright Scholar.

Research Interests

German-Jewish Literature, Austrian Studies, Drama, Jewish Studies, Exilliteratur.

Authors of focus: Franz Werfel and Joseph Roth