Saved by the Digital: Ladino Communities of the 21st Century

Saved by the Digital: Ladino Communities of the 21st Century
6 December 2019, 2.00pm - 6.00pm
Conference / Symposium
Room G4, Ground Floor, Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU

Ladino, also called Judeo-Spanish, is mainly spoken by Jewish people whose ancestors lived in what we now call Spain and Portugal until their expulsion in 1492. Today Ladino is classified as an endangered language by UNESCO as only an estimated 50,000 people worldwide can speak it. 

The remaining speakers of Ladino are scattered in exile around the world in aging communities with virtually no generational turnover on the horizon. A fistful of activists and academics have now taken this struggle for linguistic and community survival to the digital world through the creation of virtual spaces where Ladino functions as the main means of communication. 

Saved by the Digital: Ladino Communities of the 21st Century aims to showcase and discuss some of the most relevant initiatives, with a view to raising awareness and giving visibility to the existence and endangered status of Ladino, as well as offering the necessary tools for professionals and activists of other modern languages to benefit from this work.

Programme (pdf)

Abstracts and speaker bios

14:00 Coffee and registration

14:25 Welcome and Opening Remarks
Julian Weiss (King’s Coll
ege London)
Carlos Yebra López (New York University)
Alejandro Acero Ayuda (University of Florida)

14.40 Roundtable: Current Academic Projects on Fostering Social Integration and Language Inclusion through Digital Mediation
Renata Brandao (King’s College London): Language Acts and Worldmaking: Digital Mediations Strand
Naomi Wells (IMLR, University of London): Cross-Language Dynamics: Digital Diasporas
Carlos Yebra López (New York University), Alejandro Acero Ayuda (University of Florida): Ladino 21

15.50 Keynote Presentation
Eliezer Papo (University of the Negev, Ben Gurion): "Designated Survival: The AltNeue Ladino of the Digital Land"

16.40 Workshop
Richard Howeson (uTalk Founder), Emily Martyn (uTalk's Languages Manager), with Carlos Yebra López & Alejandro Acero: "Ladino for Beginners: The Launch of Ladino on uTalk's Language-Learning App"

17.35-18.00 Closing Debate / Q&A Session
Discussant: Yvette Bürki (University of Bern)

This event is funded by the Small Grants Fund from the Language Acts and Worldmaking project, with support from the Institute of Modern Languages Research and the Cross-Language Dynamics: Reshaping Community, Translingual Strand. Language Acts and Worldmaking and Cross-Language Dynamics are flagship projects of the Open World Research Initiative (OWRI). Discover more about these projects by visiting their websites in the links embedded above. 

All are welcome to attend this free event. Places are limited so please book in advance


IMLR Events
020 7862 8738