How language shaped our culture

February 1, 2013 by Community Editor
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Language is one of the deepest identity markers. To unravel the development, transformation and integration of a community’s languages is to follow subtle signposts that lead to the very heart of that community’s culture. The 25th Australian Association of Jewish Studies annual conference ‘Jewish Languages, Jewish Cultures: The Shaping of Jewish Civilization’ will explore this idea in depth.

The prestigious two-day conference on the 10-11th February will attract leading academics from around the world to speak at the University of Sydney’s Mandelbaum House and the Sydney Jewish Museum.

Dr MIchael E. Abrahams

Dr MIchael E. Abrahams

Dr Suzanne Rutland

Dr Suzanne Rutland

Speaking as the AAJS President, Dr. Michael Abrahams-Sprod stated that: “the annual conference this year not only celebrates the vitality and richness of academic scholarship that the conference regularly draws from across the globe, but importantly this year marks the 25th conference of the association and is a true testament to all scholars involved in Jewish Studies in Australia.”

Welcoming all academics, students, educators and interested members of the public, this year’s conference promises to mark the occasion with an impressive range of papers including, but not limited to:
The origins, development and continuation of the Hebrew language Language as a tool of emotion and its powerful wielding by feminists English as a ‘Jewish language’: friend or foe to traditionalism?
The place of Hebrew in Australian society and Australian Jewish schools Phenomena in diasporic languages and the identities they shape Language choice in speaking of the Holocaust, Zionism and Israel Dance, music and the arts as profound Jewish languages.

Guaranteed to be a highlight of the conference is Dr. Navras Jaat Aafreedi’s paper on ‘The Indian Muslim Involvement with the Hebrew Language’. A leading Muslim-Jewish relations activist, Dr. Aafreedi’s exploration into the controversial interest of Indian Muslims in the Hebrew language promises to present an inspiring and new aspect of interfaith relations. It represents an issue at the heart of this conference: that in embracing and incorporating a multitude of languages, Jewish culture is continually shaped by how it allows language to either divide or unite individuals and communities.

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