JEWISH LANGUAGES AND LOCALES IN A GLOBALIZED WORLD
University of Maryland, College Park
The Meyerhoff Center for Jewish Studies at the University of Maryland is organizing a conference on the intersection between globalization and Jewish languages and dialects today. Sunday, December 2 and Monday, December 3, 2007
As smaller languages rapidly disappear worldwide, dominant languages spread. This phenomenon also has an impact on Jewish communities. Globalization leads to complex identities as many Jews were born in one place, grew up in another and have children in yet a third place. What are the linguistic implications for the individual? At the level of nation and community, there has been a paradigm shift. Distinctly Jewish languages such as Yiddish and Ladino and other Judaized languages, which once functioned alongside national and local languages have dwindled or changed roles. The spread of English as a transnational language and the evolving roles for Hebrew have influenced the parameters of Jewish communities. Papers from various disciplinary perspectives are sought addressing these themes and more specifically addressing some of the following questions.
• How have changes in communication and travel patterns influenced how Jewish communities use languages?
• What are the linguistic ramifications of major geographic or demographic shifts, including Russia, France and South America?
• Does community bilingualism or multilingualism persist?
• Which languages which have been objects of language revitalization and which have become marginal? What are the present uses of traditional Jewish languages, Hebrew, Yiddish, Ladino, and Judeo-Arabic?
• What are the roles of Hebrew and English internationally?
• How do transnational religious, especially ultra-orthodox groups maintain identity through languages?
• What new language varieties are Jews creating and how are they developing? Are Jewish varieties of English, Spanish and other languages following patterns similar to the development of traditional Jewish languages like Yiddish or Ladino? What about any variants of English, Russian and Spanish?
• In new centers of Jewish life, what constitutes acceptable or desirable speech and which are the high status languages and dialects?
• Affordable international travel have led to increases in tourism, pilgrimages and new travel patterns; “Birthright ISRAEL”, religious assorted pilgrimages, heritage travel, and the phenomenon of Israeli post-army out-migration to remote places. How does language figure in these?
Guidelines: Abstracts (500-600 words) must be provided via email, by April 15. Please send abstract as a Microsoft Word document as an attachment and provide the submitter’s name, affiliation, and contact information.
For further questions e-mail conference organizer: Miriam Isaacs at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Joshua Fishman is keynote speaker and singer Chava Alberstein will perform and discuss her film. Film: “ Too Early to be Silent, Too Late to Sing”
Jewish Studies Program
0142 Holzapfel Hall
301 405 0264
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