Sonia Gollance's research interests include German-Jewish Studies, Yiddish literature, dance studies, gender studies, and regional fiction. Her dissertation, "Harmonious Instability: (Mixed) Dancing and Partner Choice in German-Jewish and Yiddish Literature," concerns the trope of mixed dancing in German-Jewish and Yiddish literature.
Before coming to Penn, she earned a BA in Comparative Literature and Germanic Studies from the University of Chicago. Following graduation, she researched contemporary Yiddish education in Germany, based primarily at Heinrich Heine University in Dusseldorf, with a Fulbright Research Grant (2009 - 2010). Language education remains an interest of hers, and she has taught both German and Yiddish at Penn, earning a graduate certificate in College and University Teaching.
Gollance has organized conferences and colloquia in both Germanic Languages and Literatures and in Jewish Studies, including co-organizing the 2012 conference "Minority Reports: Representing Social Identity in (New) Media." She has presented her work in the United States, Canada, Austria, Germany, and Israel. She has also participated in workshops through Yiddish Summer Weimar, the Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies/Israel Institute for Advanced Studies, the Projektcluster Jüdisches Heiliges Römisches Reich, and the American Academy of Jewish Research. In October 2015, Gollance participated in the seminar "Jewish Popular Culture" at the German Studies Association conference. In December 2015, she will present a paper at the Association for Jewish Studies conference, as part of the panel she organized, "The Many Genres of Kadia Molodowsky."
Gollance spent Spring 2015 working on her dissertation in Israel, courtesy of a dissertation fellowship through the Franz Rosenzweig Minerva Research Center for German-Jewish Literature and Cultural History (Hebrew University of Jerusalem). As a 2015-2016 recipient of a Fellowship in Eastern European Jewish Literature from the Max Weinreich Center, she conducted archival research at the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research in Summer 2015. Currently she is completing her dissertation in Austria, thanks to an Ernst Mach Grant from the OeAD for 2015-2016. Gollance serves as the graduate student representative of the Program Committee for the Association for Jewish Studies.