Conference Yiddish, the Unconscious, Languages

We invite you to attend the conference “Yiddish, the Unconscious, Languages” at Cerisy-la-Salle ( To attend, please submit an application to Alessandra Berghino ( and Max Kohn (, in French, before the deadline of 15 April 2018. Your application should include a title, a summary of your paper (10 lines), a short biographical profile (5 lines), the title of one of your publications, and optionally a webpage link. Please include your postal address, email and mobile number in your application.

The CERISY INTERNATIONAL CULTURAL CENTER offers a week-long symposium, a collective and convivial moment, where you will stay for at least 3 days. The Center will pay for  one night there and one day, but not for the journey. The approximate cost for these expenses is about 100 Euros for each day (everything included). Communication will be in French or Yiddish, and exceptionally in English.

There are existing symposia on Yiddish and on psychoanalysis. This conference however goes beyond these and aims to look at the opening on the unconscious of Yiddish.

Yiddish is written in the Hebrew alphabet even if it is not a consonantal language (the vowels are added) like Hebrew. Its grammar is based on German grammar and its vocabulary is composed of high German medium (80%) and Semitic (10% Hebrew and Aramaic) elements. Romance and Slavic languages and their development began in Lotharingie in 1250. Yiddish is an experience of multilingualism and the gap to a language. It is a metaphor for an opening on the unconscious of which the Witz, the wit, anchored in the Midrach, is a model, which can be found in other linguistic contexts where the subject’s speech does not coincide with a language. We are questioning today after the destruction of Mitteleuropa on several levels, first of all about the current state of Yiddish in the world. What exactly is happening? What can we draw up? Is it a living language, dead, neither alive nor dead, between the two, a language of culture that focuses on the study of literature, grammar and vocabulary? Is this paradigm of Yiddish operative to analyze other linguistic contexts today? Which ones and how?

21 July 2020 - 28 July 2020
21 Jul 2020
28 Jul 2020