Farbindungen / פֿאַרבינדונגען Yiddish Studies Conference Shtumer alef: Beginnings, Silences, Partnerships שטומער אַלף׃ אָנהײבן, שװײַגענישן ,שותּפֿותן
Farbindungen / פֿאַרבינדונגען Yiddish Studies Conference
Shtumer alef: Beginnings, Silences, Partnerships
שטומער אַלף׃ אָנהײבן, שװײַגענישן ,שותּפֿותן
Sunday, February 18th and Monday, February 19th, 2024 | virtual
presented by the Leonard and Helen R. Stulman Program in Jewish Studies at Johns Hopkins University
Farbindungen Yiddish Studies is accepting proposals for papers and workshops in Yiddish Studies from graduate students, advanced undergraduates, and early career professionals for our virtual 2024 conference, Shtumer alef: Beginnings, Silences, Partnerships.
About the Conference
Our conference offers two session formats: moderated panels of paper presentations (15 minutes each) and interactive workshops (60 minutes each). Moderated panels feature 2-3 paper presentations on original research. Presenters are encouraged to use visual aids (i.e. slides) as supplements. Moderators facilitate conversation after panelists have presented their papers. Interactive workshops offer participants the opportunity to actively and collaboratively engage with a topic. In interactive workshops, facilitators guide participants through a 60-minute discussion around source material, a pedagogical practice, or a topic of professionalization.
Proposals (abstracts) for papers and workshops may be in English or Yiddish and should address the theme of Shtumer alef. Proposals should not exceed 250 words and should be submitted by 11:59:59 ET on Sunday, November 19th at bit.ly/farbindungen24. Please direct questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
About our Theme: Shtumer alef
Unless paired with a vowel, the shtumer alef (א)—the first letter of the Yiddish alef-beys—is silent. For Farbindungen 2024: Shtumer alef, we invite participants to consider the beginnings, silences, and partnerships in Yiddish Studies. The following is our initial understanding of Shtumer alef and an incomplete list of potential topics:
- beginnings: The shtumer alef marks beginnings: where does Yiddish Studies begin and end, and what new pathways are emerging in Yiddish Studies today? What can we learn from historical moments that have sparked innovation and revolution? This might also include reflections on introductions, prologues, and preambles, or unfinished projects such as the Groyser
- silence, voicelessness, or silencing: On its own, the shtumer alef is silent: where have Yiddish speakers been silenced and where has Yiddish Studies been silenced? Who and what does Yiddish Studies silence? We are interested in silence and marginalization along axes of disability, gender, race, sexuality, religion, and class. We are also interested in representations of the silence of non-humans, places, animals, spirits, and things.
- sound: Explorations of silence encourage explorations of sound. Who speaks, and to whom do we listen? We also see space here for studies of music and music makers, pronunciation and dialect.
- the printed word: As a grapheme, the shtumer alef invites inquiry into orthographic variation and controversies, histories of the book, printing, type, or writing, as well as pedagogy and language education.
- partnerships: When paired with another vowel, the shtumer alef gains a voice. Which partnerships, historical or contemporary, have shaped Yiddish language and culture? How has collaboration given voice to the field of Yiddish Studies linguistically, ideologically, institutionally, or otherwise?
We value scholarship that: speaks to, builds on, challenges, or points to silences in our interpretation of the shtumer alef; gives voice to marginalized and underrepresented perspectives; and offers new ways of attending to the silences within Yiddish language and culture. We encourage proposals from people not affiliated with formal academic spaces. Don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions: email@example.com.
Proposal Writing Workshops
To support applicants in the proposal writing process, we are offering virtual proposal writing workshops. We will have workshops in English on Saturday, October 14 at 7pm ET and Sunday, November 5 at 1pm ET, and a workshop in Yiddish on Sunday, October 22 at 1pm ET. During these sessions, participants will be guided through the components of an academic proposal and have the opportunity to draft or revise a proposal with peer support. Participants can register at bit.ly/farbindungenworkshops24.