Yiddish Studies

Cecile E. Kuznitz

in The Oxford Handbook of Jewish Studies

Published in print December 2004 | ISBN: 9780199280322
Published online September 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780191577260 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Religion and Theology

 Yiddish Studies

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This article describes the roots of Yiddish studies and its changing geography, Yiddish's role as a post-vernacular language, Yiddish studies as a post-ideological field, the continued ideological conflict over Yiddish's post-vernacular status, and trends in Yiddish publishing. The notion of including Yiddish studies as a distinct discipline within the wider field of Jewish studies would have been virtually inconceivable before the First World War. By the end of the Second World War, the Holocaust had devastated the Jewish communities whose language, history, and culture Yiddish studies sought to explore. A half-century after the catastrophe, Yiddish scholarship is only beginning to wrestle with its full impact. Today the field of Yiddish studies is vibrant, albeit in a form much different from that envisioned by its pioneers at the start of the previous century.

Keywords: Yiddish studies; Holocaust; post-vernacular language; Yiddish language; Second World War

Article.  14189 words. 

Subjects: Judaism and Jewish Studies ; Religious Studies

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