Cultural Heritage of the Diaspora. Yiddish and Judeo-Spanish: Contrast, Comparison, Contact

Cultural Heritage of the Diaspora. Yiddish and Judeo-Spanish: Contrast, Comparison, Contact
May 8th-9th, 2016, Wrocław

The conference aims to show the current state of research on Yiddish and Judeo-Spanish (Ladino, Judezmo) as well as their present condition and importance as part of the legacy of the Jewish Diaspora. It also creates an opportunity to exchange views and to share the experiences of scholars dealing with both languages. We invite submissions that include different research perspectives or adopt comparative approach in history, anthropology, linguistics, literature and culture studies.

Thematic scope of the conference:

1. Yiddish and Judeo-Spanish – Parallel Histories

History of Yiddish and Judeo-Spanish languages, their structure, character and areas of use in a linguistic, social and gender context.

2. Sources
Description, current state, preservation and protection of sources in both languages (archival documents, press, memorial books, ethnographic sources, oral history etc.).

3. Literatures
History and significance of Yiddish and Judeo-Spanish writing and literature, their autonomy or links with Hebrew literature and with heritage of the outer cultures (e.g. German, Polish, Russian, Spanish, Turkish, Greek, South-Slavic etc.). Writers, readers, editors in a social and gender perspective. Religious and secular literature.

4. Ethnomusicology

Yiddish and Judeo-Spanish musical heritage in a historic and contemporary perspective. Its importance for the popularization of Diaspora legacy. Judeo-Spanish and Yiddish folk songs as research material for Jewish folk studies. Jewish cognitive ethnomusicology.

5. Living Communities: Yiddish and Judeo-Spanish Today

Contemporary Yiddish and Judeo-Spanish and their current users. Prospects of maintenance,
preservation and promotion of Yiddish and Ladino as endangered languages.

Please submit paper proposals (max. 20 minutes for presentation) by January 15th, 2016 at: Paper proposals should include: paper title, author’s name, affiliation, e-mail address, and a short abstract. Notification of abstract acceptance will be sent by February 5th, 2016.

Conference participants are welcome to join in events at the Center for Jewish Culture and Education in the White Stork Synagogue, Włodkowica St. 5a.

Thursday, May 5: Sing with us in Yiddish – two children’s choirs from Wrocław and Sighet, Romania will present a repertoire of Yiddish songs with Bente Kahan

Sunday, May 8: Celebrating Yiddish and Ladino – a concert created in Wroclaw by the Bente Kahan Foundation especially for Wroclaw European Capital of Culture 2016 to present Yiddish and Ladino, two European minority cultures and languages spoken by more than 15 million Jews before World War II. Bente Kahan (Wroclaw, Poland), Rosa Zaragoza and Ruso Sala (Girona, Spain) will be joined by Yiddish and Ladino musicians and artists for an evening at the White Stork Synagogue that will bring alive the journey of Yiddish and Ladino across Europe through song, music and dance.

Monday, May 9: Master classes with Greg Wall (klezmer), Bente Kahan (Yiddish song and music), Rosa Zaragoza with assistant Ruso Sala (Ladino song and music). The master classes will be free but booking is required. For more information please write to