Translating Culture Leipzig

posted by Katalin Teller on 2009/10/07 17:01

[ Tagung ]

The Translating Culture Conference of the Simon-Dubnow-Institute for Jewish History and Culture will focus on phenomena of Jewish literary transfer from Eastern Europe to Central Europe from the fin de siècle onwards. Jewish literary migrants instigated in Berlin and other places manifold activities of translation from Jewish languages whose characteristics are transgression and adaptation to the target language. The conference will explore the lingual and cultural constellation of Yiddish, Hebrew, Russian and German. The transformation of these languages served as point of reference for an evolving new national Jewish self awareness but also for new forms of acculturation. Agents as different as writers, translators, and publishers played a central role in these processes of intermediation, exchange and transfer among the languages and cultures. To draw a comprehensive picture, the presentations will address questions that deal more generally with reflections on the life and work of individuals, on institutions and associations. The conference will also concentrate on theoretical and methodological questions of translation.The conference will take place on October 15 - 16, 2009 in the Simon-Dubnow-Institut für jüdische Geschichte und Kultur e. V. an der Universität Leipzig (Goldschmidtstr. 28, 04103 Leipzig, Germany).

Conference Program

Wednesday, October 14th
19.30 Welcome to the Conference

Thursday, October 15th

09.00 Dan Diner (Leipzig, Jerusalem)
Introductory Remarks

Early Beginnings

09.15 Chair: Trude Maurer (Göttingen)

Israel Bartal (Jerusalem)
Uprooting Traditional Ashkenazic Diglottic Culture – Yiddish, German and loshn koidesh at the Threshold of Modernity

Ran HaCohen (Tel Aviv)
Hebrew Letters and German Text – The Sacred, the Profane, and the World in Between

10.45 Coffee break

Sholem Aleichem

11.00 Chair: Trude Maurer (Göttingen)

Gabriel Moked (Beer Sheva)
Mendele, Sholem Aleichem and Agnon – Three Trends in Hebrew and Yiddish Fiction and Jewish Experience

Benny Mer (Jerusalem)
From the Sacred to the Profane – and Reverse: Reconsidering Mendele Moycher Sforim and Sholem Aleichem

12.30 Lunch

14.00 Chair: Olaf Terpitz (Leipzig)

Natalia Shchyhlevska (Mainz)
Slavonic Traces – Sholem Aleichem’s Poetological Diction and Cultural Setting

Leonid Katsis (Moskau)
Writing in Yiddish for a Russian-Speaking Audience: Sholem Aleichem’s “blitiger spas”

15.30 Coffee break

The Soviet Experiment

16.00 Chair: Olaf Terpitz (Leipzig)

Gennady Estraikh (New York)
Yiddish into Russian: Translating and Publishing Sholem Aleichem in the 1920s

Mikhail Krutikov (Ann Arbor)
From Nation to Class: Meir Wiener on sprakhfolklor and Volkskunde

19.00 Keynote lecture
Dan Miron (New York)
The Dark Side of Sholem Aleichem’s Humour

20.15 Reception

Friday, October 16th

Great Transformations

9.00 Chair: Frauke von Rohden (Leipzig)

Hannan Hever (Jerusalem)
Infused with the Sacred – On the Political Theology of Berdichevsky’s “Book of Hassidim”

Jörg Schulte (London)
Greek into Hebrew - Shaul Tschernichowsky and the Translation of Classical Antiquity

10.30 Coffee break

11.00 Chair: Yaara Shehori (Jerusalem)

Matan Hermoni (Beer Sheva)
Y.H. Brenner Goes Berserk – On Yoseph Opatosho’s Yiddish Novel “Hebrew“, Here and There

Roy Greenwald (Jerusalem)
Pogrom and avant-garde: “The Heap” by Peretz Markish

12.30 Lunch

14.00 Chair: Susanne Zepp (Leipzig)

Natasha Gordinsky (Jerusalem)
Hebrew Acmeism: Lea Goldberg and the Nostalgia for World Culture

Lilach Nethanel (Ramat Gan)
Reading David Fogel’s Yiddish Novel: On Multiple Languages in a Single Text

15.30 Coffee break

Encounter in Leipzig

15.45 Dan Laor (Tel Aviv)
From Fact to Fiction: Rabbiner David Feldmann and S.Y. Agnon


Contact: Olaf Terpitz/Yaara Shehori, Simon-Dubnow-Institut für jüdische Geschichte und Kultur e. V. an der Universität Leipzig, Goldschmidtstr. 28, 04103 Leipzig, Germany. Email:;, Visit the website at


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