The Making of Yiddishland with Efrat Gal-Ed
The colloquial notion of ‘Yiddishland’ has come to identify the term with the eastern European habitat of Yiddish-speaking Jews before the khurbn. Opposing the notion of Yiddishland as a lieu de mémoire, Jeffrey Shandler argues for a definition not determined by geography: “a virtual locus construed in terms of the presence or usage of the Yiddish language, especially – though not exclusively – in its spoken form.”
These perspectives document the historically and socially determined transformation of a relatively recent concept. My talk reconstructs the genesis of that transformation, showing how Yiddishland was envisioned before the khurbn and how the term was understood by those who brought it into general use.
(This lecture will be in English)