11/26-11/27 Conference – "Linguistic Homelands: Modern Hebrew, Yiddish, and German"

Conference – "Linguistic Homelands: Modern Hebrew, Yiddish, and German"


University of Chicago, The Franke Institute for the Humanities, 1100 E 57th Street (Regenstein Library), Room JRL-S118


5:00 p.m.


This conference will explore the intimate relations and tensions that accrue between Hebrew, Yiddish, and German. How were they variously marked as linguistic “homelands,”and why did that sense of home sometimes break down? What conversations and contestations took place in and between these languages—including, but not limited to, the complex legacies of Mendelssohn’s translations and his shift from Yiddish to German, the development of Hebrew-Yiddish literary bilingualism, and the return of “diasporic Hebrew” to Berlin today? We will also think about how this particular linguistic constellation enables us to rewrite entrenched histories of modern Jewish-European culture and to rethink more general questions of language and diaspora, linguistic and cultural translation, modernity and secularization, gender and emancipation, the major and the minor. The keynote address will be delivered by Liliane Weissberg, the Christopher H. Browne Distinguished Professor in Arts and Sciences and Professor of German and Comparative Literature at the University of Pennsylvania. This conference is supported by the Greenberg Center for Jewish Studies and co-sponsored by the Department of Germanic Studies, the Department of Comparative Literature, Yiddish Studies, the Center for Middle Eastern Studies.