Adventures in Yiddishland: Postvernacular Language and by Jeffrey Shandler

By Jeffrey Shandler

Adventures in Yiddishland examines the transformation of Yiddish within the six many years because the Holocaust, tracing its shift from the language of lifestyle for thousands of Jews to what the writer phrases a postvernacular language of numerous and increasing symbolic worth. With an intensive command of recent Yiddish tradition in addition to its centuries-old heritage, Jeffrey Shandler investigates the amazing variety of up to date encounters with the language. His examine traverses the huge spectrum of people that have interaction with Yiddish--from Hasidim to avant-garde performers, Jews in addition to non-Jews, fluent audio system in addition to those that understand very little Yiddish--in groups around the Americas, in Europe, Israel, and different outposts of ''Yiddishland.''

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Additional resources for Adventures in Yiddishland: Postvernacular Language and Culture. S. Mark Taper Foundation Imprint in Jewish Studies

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In particular, this focus entails a shift away from Eastern Europe and toward other centers of Yiddish culture, especially in America, as the geography of Yiddish was reconfigured over the course of the past half-century. 65 Adventures in Yiddishland organizes the analysis of postvernacular Yiddish according to key activities that span the full spectrum of modern Yiddish culture. Each chapter focuses on a particular activity, broadly defined—such as Yiddish pedagogy (chapter 2) or practices of materializing the language (chapter 5)—and examines how it has been engaged across temporal, geographical, generic, and ideological boundaries.

65 Adventures in Yiddishland organizes the analysis of postvernacular Yiddish according to key activities that span the full spectrum of modern Yiddish culture. Each chapter focuses on a particular activity, broadly defined—such as Yiddish pedagogy (chapter 2) or practices of materializing the language (chapter 5)—and examines how it has been engaged across temporal, geographical, generic, and ideological boundaries. While linked to the others as part of a multifaceted approach to the larger topic at hand, each chapter constitutes a self-sufficient study with its own parameters, gauged to its particular subject.

With the onset of the Cold War, the antireligious stance and left-wing associations of many secular Yiddishists came to be seen as especially problematic. The establishment of the State of Israel also fostered a surge in American Jews’ interest in studying modern Hebrew. These changing circumstances and perspectives contributed to postwar American Jews’ extensive abandonment of Yiddish as a vernacular. At the same time, these developments prompted a new self-consciousness about the loss of the language.

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