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Ashkenaz: Theory and Nation (Conference on Yiddish and Ashkenazic Studies)
Kraków, May 1998


The Yiddish and Ashkenazic Studies Program of the Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures at The Ohio State University, in cooperation with the College of Humanities; and the Jagiellonian University, in cooperation with the Faculties of Philosophy and Philology, announce an international conference on Yiddish and Ashkenazic Studies
This conference focuses on aspects of Ashkenazic Jewry as nation. Papers may be from any discipline (e.g., literature, history, linguistics, cultural studies, social anthropology, folklore, geography, demography, sociology, etc.), and should employ the theory or methodology of the relevant discipline to the analysis of Ashkenaz as nation. Papers dealing with Ashkenaz from a cross-cultural perspective are welcome as well. Papers presented will be thirty minutes in length, including the discussion period. Persons interested in presenting a paper should submit a one-page abstract by 1 November 1997 to: Professor David Neal Miller Yiddish and Ashkenazic Studies The Ohio State University 314 Cunz Hall Columbus, OH 43210-1229 USA or Dr. Annamaria Orla-Bukowska Institute of Sociology Jagiellonian University ul. Grodzka 52 31-044 Kraków Poland or by e-mail to: Abstracts should include title of paper, author(s), affiliation(s), address, telephone and fax numbers, and e-mail address. Notification of acceptance will be sent by 30 November 1997. North American scholars may submit abstracts by 1 October 1997 for notification by 30 October 1997. Ashkenazic Studies focuses upon the culture and civilization of Ashkenaz. Ashkenaz (alternatively: Erets Ashkenaz "the land of Ashkenaz") is the indigenous name of the home territory of Central and Eastern European Jewry. From its compact origins some 1000 years ago in the ShU"M communities along the Rhine, Ashkenaz grew to cover the second-largest unbroken language and culture area in Europe. From the outset, Ashkenazic Jewry defined itself as distinct both from the other emerging European peoples and cultures with which it was coterritorial, and from other Jewries. Ashkenaz developed a unique, internally consistent, and culturally advanced European civilization. Sharing a confession with non Ashkenazic coreligionists, Ashkenazic Jewry also participated in the millennia of cosmopolitan Jewish textuality (sacred texts, commentary and responsa, commercial contracts, domestic agreements, etc.). Ashkenazic culture is characterized by a national language (Yiddish); religion (Judaism); textual tradition; material culture (architecture, dress, foodways, routes of trade and migration); systems of education, social welfare, dispute adjudication; politics and ideology; national literature; high and popular culture.