Book: Choosing Yiddish: New Frontiers of Language and Culture

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Choosing Yiddish: New Frontiers of Language and Culture

Edited by Shiri Goren, senior lector in Hebrew, Lara Rabinovitch, and Hannah Pressman

(Wayne State University Press)

Yiddish Hip Hop, a 19th-century “Hasidic Slasher,” obscure Yiddish writers, and immigrant Jewish newspapers in Buenos Aires, Paris, and New York are just a few of the topics featured in “Choosing Yiddish: New Frontiers of Language and Culture.” The editors have gathered a diverse and layered collection of essays that demonstrates the currency of Yiddish scholarship in academia today.

Organized into six thematic rubrics, “Choosing Yiddish” demonstrates that Yiddish, always a border-crossing language, continues to push boundaries with vigorous disciplinary exchange. Contributors consider famed and lesser-known Yiddish writers, films, and Yiddish Hip-Hop, as well as historical studies on the Yiddish press, Yiddish film melodrama, Hasidic folkways, and Yiddish culture in Israel. Scholars introduce each rubric, creating additional dialogue between newer and more established voices in the field.

The international contributors contend that the language — far from dying — is fostering new directions of academic and popular discourse, rooted in the field’s historic focus on interdisciplinary research.