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Nation, Partition, and the Linguistic Imaginary: The Curious Case of Judeo-Arabic

Nation, Partition, and the Linguistic Imaginary: The Curious Case of Judeo-Arabic
75 Queen's Park Crescent E, Rm 001, Emmanuel College
Time: Sep 21st, 4:00 pm End: Sep 21st, 6:00 pm
Interest Categories: Linguistics (FAS), Jewish Studies, Diaspora/Transnational, Comparative Literature (FAS), 2000-
Talk by Ella Shohat, New York University

The Centre Comparative Literature presents

Nation, Partition, and the Linguistic Imaginary: The Curious Case of Judeo-Arabic

This lecture examines linguistic belonging as invented within national and colonial itineraries. More specifically, it explores the genealogy of the concept of "Judeo-Arabic language" and its axiomatic definition as a cohesive (specifically Jewish) unit separate from Arabic, and classifiable under the historically novel rubric of isolatable "Jewish languages" severed from their neighboring dialect/languages. Does the notion of "Judeo-Arabic" correspond to the designation by the speakers of that language themselves or rather to a paradigm influenced by post-Enlightenment Judaic studies and Jewish nationalism? And in the wake of the colonial partition of Palestine and the displacement from Arabic-speaking cultural geographies, how should we regard the salvage project for an "endangered Judeo-Arabic?" What are the phantasmatic aspects of a conceptual framework that has left a linguistic practice both rejected and desired?

Ella Shohat is Professor of Cultural Studies at New York University. Her award-winning books include: Taboo Memories, Diasporic Voices; Israeli Cinema: East/West and the Politics of Representation; Talking Visions; Unthinking Eurocentrism; and Race in Translation.

This event is free and open to all. Registration is not required. For further information, please contact the Centre for Comparative Literature at (416) 813-4041.

shohat


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