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Indiana University Bloomington
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Course Description

VT: Yiddish a Language without an Army: National, International, Liberal and Orthodox (3 cr)
Dov-Ber Kerler
GER-Y 506 Topics in Yiddish Culture (9747)
MW 4:45-6:00 (WH 109)
Meets with JSTU-J 303 and GER-E 352

A survey and focused discussion of the various roles and functions of Yiddish real or imagined in the last 500 years. How was this language forged, developed and above all used (both underused, abused but hardly ever overused) among European Jews (and some cases non-Jews). Particular attention will be given to the last 222 years in Eastern and Central Europe, in North America since the 1880s and globally online on the Internet and its digital resources since the late 1990s. The course is not limited only to the socio-linguistic, historic, and structural aspects of the Yiddish language, but also to Yiddish culture literature, folklore, music, arts, history of Yiddish printed books and periodical press. We will read and discuss several -- some entertaining, but mostly revealing and tale-telling texts (all either translated into or written in English and watch and critically debate a number of films video materials (whether documenting folklore and oral history or presenting contemporary "cultural productions".

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