CFP[urim]: Farbinduckn Annual Conference (2025)

Alona Bach, Carolyn Beard, Cameron Bernstein, Sophia Shoulson, Sean Sidky and Jacob Hermant

CFP: Farbinduckn 2025

Theme: Yiddish Chickens

Host Institution: Yiddish Farm

We are delighted to announce that Farbinduckn 2025: Yiddish Chickens is now accepting proposals for papers and workshops in Yiddish Studies from graduate students, advanced undergraduates, and early career professionals. Attendance at the conference will be open for plucky lovers of Yiddish at all levels, from spring chickens to empty-nesters.

In our fourth annual gathering, we aim to build the future of the field, cultivate it, harvest it, and then feed the milled grains to fowl. In doing so, we hope to incubate the next generation of downy Yiddish scholars.

In previous years we’ve made it a crucial part of our mission to hold the conference virtually, to enable international scholars or those who cannot travel to take part. Not this year. We have reconsidered our priorities, and our priorities are chickens.

About our Theme: Yiddish Chickens

The majestic chicken is a mainstay of Yiddish literature and culture. Often overlooked in favor of the goldene pave or the white goat, chickens get into everything from Yiddish folkways to foodways. We invite papers that take a broad interpretation of “Yiddish Chickens.” Submissions might consider the following:

- Famous Hindes

- Chicken-scratch: Hantshrift and beyond

- Henpecking: Yiddish nagging, gender, and power

- Nebekh, food studies approaches to chickens and eggs (Yum!)

- Incubating Boychiks: Terms of endearment through linguistic, literary, cultural, or agricultural lenses; narratives of nurture and upbringing in the Yiddish literary tradition

- The Coop and the Chicken Wire: Imprisonment, (constrained) mobility, and/or security

- Labor histories of chickens: chicken farming; chickens on strike; chickens onstage

- “What are you, chicken!?”: Affective readings of Yiddish Studies/Yiddishists; tales of legendary shvakhlingen (wimps) of Yiddish history

- Jewish Humor, Yiddish Hiner: Livestock and the development of Yiddish idioms

    We value papers that cause us to rethink what we know about the chicken and expand the category of what we consider a chicken. We are particularly interested in papers that highlight historically understudied chickens, such as rubber chickens, chickens in Antarctica, and easy weeknight 20-minute chicken dinners. Please note that papers that study any other fowl—whether grouse, pheasant, partridge, or quail—will be returned to sender via chicken.

    About the Conference

    Our conference will offer three session formats: moderated panels of paper presentations (15 minutes each), interactive workshops (60 minutes each), and collective clucking (ongoing, beginning at dawn upon the rooster’s first crow).

    Moderated panels will feature paper presentations on original research grouped by subtopic. Presenters are encouraged to use visual aids (i.e. slides, eggs) as supplements. Moderators will establish a pecking order and facilitate conversation.

    Interactive workshops offer participants the opportunity to actively and collaboratively (h)engage in a topic. In an interactive workshop, a facilitator will take participants under their wing through a 60-minute discussion of source material (chicken and/or egg), pedagogical practice, schmaltz, or a topic of professionalization.

    Collective clucking will focus on the state of the field, and whether the feed has been adequate this year. All participants are invited to come home to roost for these sessions.

    Proposals (abstracts) for papers and workshops may be in English, Yiddish, or fowl language and should clearly address the theme of Yiddish Chickens. Proposals should not exceed 250 eggs in one basket and should be submitted by Sunday, March 24, 2024 at the barn down the road. If you have questions, please run around in a circle like your head has been cut off, and we will get in touch!

    We hope to secure funding to ensure that each participant will have access to a chicken for the duration of the conference.


    Members of the Farbinduckn Organizing Committee: Alona Bok-Bok-Bok, Chickolyn Beard, Cameroost Bernstein, Yolk-ob Hermant, Sophia Shouls-hen, and Sean Sidkegg

    Bach, Alona, Carolyn Beard, Cameron Bernstein, Sophia Shoulson, Sean Sidky, and Jacob Hermant. “CFP[urim]: Farbinduckn Annual Conference (2025).” In geveb, March 2024:
    Bach, Alona, Carolyn Beard, Cameron Bernstein, Sophia Shoulson, Sean Sidky, and Jacob Hermant. “CFP[urim]: Farbinduckn Annual Conference (2025).” In geveb (March 2024): Accessed Apr 24, 2024.


    Alona Bach

    Alona Bach is a PhD student in MIT's Program in HASTS (History, Anthropology, and Science, Technology, and Society), where she studies the interwar intersections of electric light and Yiddish.

    Carolyn Beard

    Carolyn Beard is a Master of Divinity candidate at Harvard Divinity School, where she studies comparative Jewish and Christian thought in modernity.

    Cameron Bernstein

    Cameron Bernstein is an artist and Yiddishist from the Chicagoland Jewish community and the 2021-2022 Communications Fellow at the Yiddish Book Center.

    Sophia Shoulson

    Sophia Shoulson is a PhD student in the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures at Johns Hopkins University.

    Sean Sidky

    Sean Sidky is scholar of Yiddish literature and culture, Jewish responses to catastrophe, poetry and poetics, and American Judaism.

    Jacob Hermant

    Jacob is a second-year PhD student at the University of Toronto, whose research focuses on nature, land, and folk in Yiddish literature.