War and Peace of Languages

Social linguistics of the Holy City

The concept of the Eskolot's Festival of Jewish Texts and Ideas "War and Peace of the Languages: Linguistic History of Jerusalem" is to explore the unique linguistic character of Jerusalem through in-depth analytical study of relevant literary and historical texts. The topics include:

· Historic and contemporary languages of Jerusalem (from ancient Kenaanite to contemporary Russian)

· Language and power in Jerusalem ("War of the Languages" in early XX century, linguistic policy of the British Mandate, contemporary issues: colloquial Hebrew of Jerusalem streets and "ivory tower" of The Academy of the Hebrew Language, linguistic mapping of contemporary Jerusalem etc.)

· Jerusalem and the Revival of Hebrew (Eliezer ben Yehuda)

· Yiddish creativity in Jerusalem and the image of Jerusalem in Yiddish literature

The lectures will be delivered by Prof. Ruth Wisse (Harvard), Prof. Cyril Aslanov (Hebrew University) and other linguists and sociologists.