In an otherwise fair and objective listing of academic papers (archived here) recently published in the field of Yiddish studies, Joshua Price, Dory Fox and Saul Noam Zarrit label Dovid Katz’s paper on Yiddish normativism (“The Yiddish Conundrum: A Cautionary Tale for Language Revivalism” in the Palgrave Macmillan Handbook of Minority Languages and Communities) with the rather personalized characterization “With characteristic bravado”… They were (or were not?) aware that the paper expresses academic disagreement with a 1970 publication edited by D. Roskies, among others, but of course they would never abuse the In Geveb academic platform to exact retribution on behalf of a current boss. That would be unethical, unacademic, untoward and for the fragile field of Yiddish scholarship rather unbecoming.
Perhaps the three Yiddish scholars woudl then explain why the views and arguments in this paper contain more “bravado” than the other papers that express robust academic views on their august list?
It seems, incidentally, that the same author’s recent paper “Methodology in Yiddish Historical Linguistics” (in Yiddish with English abstract page, in Jewish Identity and Comparative Studies = Medievales 68), reaches a higher level of inadmissibility, that of remaining unreported, unmentioned, stricken from the record in the leading online survey of Yiddish academia. Do the editors of In Geveb somehow fear a robust diversity of academic views in twenty first century American academia? Are young scholars entering the field meant to remain ignorant of diverse views in a small and fragile field? Or perhaps this exclusion from any listing in any part of In Geveb has nothing to do with authors or their views, but is based on the paper having been published in Yiddish. And if so, is that an appropriate policy for an academic publication on Yiddish Studies (see the final part of the introduction to the In Geveb Watch section).
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