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The Greenfield Lynch lecture series sponsors a lecture on Jewish American literature and literary studies, jointly organized by the Program in Jewish Culture & Society and the Department of English. The series is a gift from Deborah Lynch in honor of her parents, Dr. and Mrs. Michael Greenfield, and her daughter, Samantha Lynch.  

Deborah Lynch grew up as part of a large Jewish family in Danville, Illinois, where her love of literature began. Despite leaving the cornfields behind with early undergraduate forays to Madison and Cambridge, she ultimately found her true academic home in the ivy-covered English Building at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. There she studied with the “gifted and inspirational” professors whose influence, she says, remain with her today.  After graduate school at UIUC, she moved to Washington, D.C. where she became a journalist and the editor of the award-winning environmental journal DIVERSITY. (Among its highest honors was the award of the Vavilov Medal from the government of Russia.)

We are so grateful for the Greenfield Lynch series, which has supported dynamic programming at Illinois including visits from Nicole KraussJames FriedmanSarah Phillips Casteel, and Stephen Zipperstein. We look forward to continuing to honor the Greenfield-Lynch legacy with regular events that bring major writers and scholars to our campus and highlight the value of Jewish American literature for current and future generations. 

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