YiLaS 3: Yiddish in the 21st Century

International conference

University College London

The UCL Departments of Hebrew and Jewish Studies (Lily Kahn and Sonya Yampolskaya) and Linguistics (Kriszta Eszter Szendrői and Zoë Belk) are delighted to invite abstracts for the international conference YiLaS (Yiddish Language Structures) 3: Yiddish in the 21st Century, to be held in person at University College London, March 27-29, 2023. The conference follows on from YiLaS 2 held at the University of Düsseldorf in 2019, and YiLaS 1 held at the University of Regensburg in 2009.

The special theme of the conference will be linguistic aspects of contemporary Yiddish. These can include but are not limited to present-day Standard Yiddish, Hasidic and other Haredi types of Yiddish, the relationship between 21st-century Yiddish varieties and historical Eastern European dialects, the emergence of new linguistic features in Yiddish, and the relationship between the Yiddish language and Jewish culture. Note that the theme is not exclusory and contributions on issues relating to historical Yiddish variants are also welcome.

It is our intention that the conference will provide a collegial platform for fruitful discussion and knowledge exchange among specialists in Yiddish language, linguistics, and culture, as well as in comparative Germanic linguistics, sociolinguistics (including language variation and change), language contact, multilingualism, psycholinguistics, and minority and diaspora languages.

The conference will include the following keynote speakers:

  • Isaac L. Bleaman (UC Berkeley)
  • Lea Schäfer (Philipps Universität Marburg)

There will also be a special panel on Hasidic Yiddish in the 21st century convened by Chaya Nove (UC Berkeley).

The conference’s cultural programme will include a walk in Hasidic Stamford Hill and a Yiddish Cabaret with Mendy Cahan (YUNG YiDiSH, Tel Aviv).

Abstracts should be maximum 500 words excluding references and should be submitted to yilas3.2023@gmail.com by 31 December 2022. Conference presentations may be given in either English or Yiddish. We encourage our presenters to consider delivering their lectures in Yiddish. (Yiddish-language presentations will be simultaneously translated into English in order to make them accessible to all.) Please submit your abstract in the language in which you plan to present. Authors of accepted abstracts will be requested to work with the organizers to translate their abstract into the other language. Applicants will receive notification of the outcome of their submission by 15 January 2023.

Articles based on selected conference papers will be subsequently published in a peer-reviewed edited volume. We will provide further details in due course.

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