Next week, on Wednesday, March 15th, Ivy Sichel will be giving this quarter’s Distinguished Faculty Lecture for Stevenson College. The talk begins at 4:30pm in the Stevenson Fireside Lounge, with a reception to follow. Her lecture is entitled “Ideology and Identity in the Revival of Spoken Hebrew”, and you can read more about it in the blurb below.
The revival of Spoken Hebrew took place in Palestine in the early 20th century, and is often seen as a historically unique example of successful language revival. In this talk I suggest that Hebrew is also exemplary, of the ways in which our languages speak through us. What is special about Hebrew is that key properties of the revival process – its rapidity and recency – make it possible to track mechanisms by which broader ideologies (of nation, ancestry, class, gender, etc.) come to be embedded in the languages we speak. The talk will focus on East-West diasporic dynamics in the negotiation of accent for the new spoken Hebrew, and on the shifting values of authenticity and sincerity in the construction of the new native-born speech style.