Himel Family Yiddish Lecture Series
Co-sponsored by the Al and Malka Green Fund in Yiddish Studies
Kalman Weiser (York University)
"Vos heyst take klal-yidish?"
Once widely viewed as "progressive" and "cultivated," Standard Yiddish is seldom heard today outside of academic and artistic contexts and is often described by its detractors as "contrived." In this talk, we'll explore the practical and ideological origins of Standard Yiddish, the debates about its features (especially pronunciation), and the objections of its critics.
Kalman Weiser is the Silber Family Professor of Modern Jewish Studies and the Director of the Israel and Golda Koschitzky Centre for Jewish Studies at York University. A native of NYC (BA,Yale; MA and PhD, Columbia), he is the author of several studies about Jewish nationalism and Jews’ relationship to language, especially in eastern Europe. His study Jewish People, Yiddish Nation. Noah Prylucki and the Folkists in Poland won the 2012 Canadian Jewish Book Award for scholarship. He is also a contributor to and co-editor of Czernowitz at 100: the First Yiddish Language Conference in Historical Perspective (2010); a revised and expanded edition of Solomon Birnbaum's seminal work Yiddish: a Survey and a Grammar (2016); and Key Concepts in the Study of Antisemitism (2021). In 2018, he was the co-organizer of Teaching about Antisemitism in the 21st Century, an intensive summer institute for advanced graduate students and junior faculty that is scheduled to be renewed in 2023. He has recently completed the manuscript for a book about Nazi scholars of Yiddish and their relationships with Jewish colleagues before, during and after World War II. Presently, he is conducting work on the history of the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research in post-war America.
Prof. Weiser regularly teaches courses about modern Jewish and general eastern European history, antisemitism, Yiddish, and Jewish languages. He has lectured widely in the US, Europe, Japan, and Israel.
This event is conducted entirely in Yiddish.
This lecture will be delivered in-person at JHB318 and virtually via Zoom. To attend virtually, please click THIS LINK on Tuesday, February 7 at 1 PM.