School of Cities / Event

Fragile Structures of Knowledge

Fragile Structures of Knowledge event image with two speakers headshots


The School of Cities at University of Toronto is pleased to present an intimate seminar and working group, “Fragile Structures of Knowledge: The Sukkah as Temporary Urban Interventions”. Professor Diego Rotman will present his ongoing work which takes an in-depth look at contemporary sukkot as containers of temporary critical and symbolic architecture, social and symbolic statements, fragile knowledge and ideas of hybrid and fluid localities. Professor Anna Shternshis joins as Discussant.


Diego Rotman Head of the Department of Theater Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, is a Senior Lecturer, multidisciplinary artist, curator, and researcher. He specializes in the study of performative practices in relation to local history, folklore, and Yiddish culture and theater. He has published essays on Yiddish theater, political satire, and contemporary art. His book, The Yiddish Stage as a Temporary Home – Dzigan and Shumacher’s Satirical Theater (1927-1980), received the 2019 Shapiro Award for the Best Book in Israel Studies. Rotman co-founded Sala-manca Group in 2000, a contemporary art, performance, and public art group, which published the art periodical “He’arat shulayim.” In 2009, the Group established the Mamuta Art and Media Center, which continues to serve as a center for research, production, and presentation of art.

Anna Shternshis is the Al and Malka Green Professor of Yiddish studies and director of the Anne Tanenbaum Centre for Jewish Studies at the University of Toronto. Shternshis is the author of Soviet and Kosher: Jewish Popular Culture in the Soviet Union, 1923 – 1939 (Indiana UP, 2006) and When Sonia Met Boris: An Oral History of Jewish Life under Stalin (Oxford UP, 2017). Together with artist Psoy Korolenko, Shternshis created and directed the Grammy-nominated Yiddish Glory project, an initiative that brought back to life forgotten Yiddish music written during the Holocaust in the Soviet Union. A recipient of 2020 Guggenheim Fellowship, she is currently working on a book tentatively entitled Last Yiddish Heroes: A Lost and Found Archive of the Holocaust in the Soviet Union about Yiddish music created in Nazi-occupied Ukraine.

About The School of Cities

School of Cities leverages urban data and lived experience to improve policy and decision-making, and collaborates with communities to make cities and urban regions more sustainable, prosperous, inclusive and just.

The School of Cities is committed to making its programs accessible to all persons. If you need accommodation to participate in this event or have any questions, requests, or concerns please contact Yvonne Daoleuxay ( Please provide questions and requests 48 hours prior to the event date.