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The Conference "The Representation of Jewish Languages on Screen", Mount Scopus, July 15-17, 2012

A conference on The Representation of Jewish Languages on Screen will be held at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (Mount Scopus) on July 15-17, 2012.
The representation of Jewish Languages on screen is not only a way to pay a tribute to pre-war Yiddish movie pictures.  It also strives to understand the impact of the partial echoing of languages connected with a vanished past in modern and sometimes very recent films (as in the opening episode of A Serious Man by Ethan and Joel Coen, 2009).  Sometimes, the episodes where a Jewish language is heard are extremely short; at other times, the presence of the Jewish languages is reduced to the epiphenomenal embedding of words within the frame of the hegemonic language (Yiddish in English; Judeo-Arabic in French or in Hebrew).
The conference will also deal with the aesthetic effect that derives from extracts of Jewish songs (in Yiddish or Judeo-Spanish) that are occasionally part of the sound track of movies dealing with Jewish issues, especially as far as the representation of the Shoah is concerned.  Whatever the presence of Jewish languages in classic, modern or post-modern cinema might be, it is interesting to ask what this mediation of cinema means for the preservation of the endangered Jewish languages and conversely, how the nostalgic resonance of lost voices is affecting a post-modern representation of Jewish ethnicity on the screen.
This interdisciplinary conference is open to a wide range of specializations: linguistics of the Jewish languages; cinema studies; musicology; cultural studies; Jewish history; Shoah studies; ethnology.
The working language will not be necessarily English although this option is obviously recommended.
An abstract for a suggested lecture/presentation should be sent to by May 24, 2012.
Prof. Cyril Aslanov
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
International Center for University Teaching of Jewish Civilization
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Tel. +972-2-5881772/3    Fax:  +972-2-5819096

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