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"Viskonsin! Tales from Yiddish Wisconsin"
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When: 3/28/2014
Where: University of Wisconsin-Madison
Madison, Wisconsin 
United States
Contact: Jessica Courtier
(608) 890-4818

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The Mayrent Institute for Yiddish Culture at the University of Wisconsin-Madison is pleased to announce "Viskonsin! Tales from Yiddish Wisconsin,” a symposium on Yiddish culture in the upper Midwest. This symposium seeks to uncover the often hidden history of Yiddish life in the Midwest which, while it mirrored Jewish communities in larger cities, took on a unique character all its own. Delving into this history is a fascinating and under appreciated facet of the global Midwest.

This symposium will feature invited speakers, community history panels, and a participatory concert / sing-along that calls up the rich history of community singing prominent in political, educational, and labor organizations of the era. In gathering as a group of scholars and community members committed to unearthing this history, we seek to bring together existing scholarship and resources and foster continuing work on the subject.

The symposium will take place on the UW-Madison campus in Memorial Library, room 126, on Friday, March 28, 2014. An associated choral concert and community sing-along featuring the Madison Yiddish Choir is scheduled for Wednesday, March 26, 2014.

Call for Papers

We welcome proposals for presentations on any aspect of Yiddish culture in the upper Midwest, originating from any disciplinary perspective, including musicology/ethnomusicology, history, media history, etc. We especially welcome contributions related to musical cultures and Yiddish culture in smaller communities. Although the title is a reference to the state of Wisconsin, papers exploring other areas of the upper Midwest are also welcome.

Presentations should be no longer than 20 minutes. Proposals should include the presentation title and an abstract of approximately 350 words.

Proposals should be submitted via email to The body of your email should include your full name, professional affiliation, email address, phone number, and the title of your paper. Submit your abstract (with title) to the email as a .doc or .txt attachment; the attachment should contain no identifying information other than the title of your presentation.

Submissions are due no later than Wednesday, February 12, 2014. The chosen presenters will be notified via email no later than Friday, February 21. More information about the symposium is available here:

More information about the Viskonsin! project is available here:

The University of Wisconsin-Madison Mayrent Institute for Yiddish Culture is affiliated with the Center for the Study of Upper Midwest Culture and is dedicated to the study, preservation and dissemination of traditional and popular Yiddish arts and letters. Learn more at

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