UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies (SSEES)


The Digital Revitalisation of Ladino (Judeo-Spanish): from Web 1.0 to 3.0

09 May 2023, 6:00 pm–7:30 pm

Dr Carlos Yebra López

A PROLang seminar with Dr Carlos Yebra López. This will be an online event.

This event is free.

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Ladino (Judeo-Spanish) is a severely endangered language spoken by the Sephardim, i.e. Jews who were expelled from the Iberian Peninsula (Sepharad I) in 1492, and settled in the Mediterranean basin (Sepharad 2), and then in the Americas and beyond, where forced migration in the 20th century led to the global dispersal (Sepharad III), and subsequent dissolution, of physical Ladino-speaking communities. In the twenty-first century, the proliferation of Sephardi online communities (Sepharad IV) and particularly, that of Sephardi Digital Home-Lands (which, unlike mere online communities, include a process of linguistic ethnicization -Linke 2004; Eisenlohr 2006- and a sense of home- Wise 2000) (Held 2010; Yebra López, 2020) has granted the global community of Ladino-speakers a unique opportunity to strengthen the Sephardic nation while preserving its extraterritoriality and lack of State ascription.

In this presentation, Carlos will outline and critically discuss the response to Ladino’s endangerment through the following digital initiatives:

Web 1.0: Email lists/Correspondence Circles: Ladinokomunita (1999-), Ladino Culture Forum (2002) and Sefaradi Muestro (2008-)

Web 2.0: Digital Archives: Autoridad Nasionala del Ladino (2011), Ladino 21 (2017-) and VLACH Judeo-Spanish (2019-)/ Social Media Ephemerals (2004-): Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp, Youtube, Instagram./Video On Demand and Streamline Services: The Nexflix Shows Kulüp (2021- ) and The Beauty Queen of Jerusalem (2021- )/ Apps: uTalk (2019- ), Wordle (2021-)/ Zoom Boom: The Sephardic Digital Academy (2020- ), Enkontros de Alhad (2020-), Yeshiva Minhat Milena (2020- ), Oxford University (2021- ).

Web 3.0: Sepharad V as a Crypto Native Country? (2022- )

About the speaker:

Dr Carlos Yebra López (PhD from New York University) is a UKRI Postdoctoral Research Fellow on Ladino (Judeo-Spanish) at University College London, and a Ladino instructor at the Oxford School of Rare Jewish Languages. His research focuses on the revitalisation of Ladino by digital means. He is the co-founder and CEO of Ladino 21 Community Interest Company, a public outreach initiative and digital archive devoted to grassroots documentation of Ladino. He is the author of the recent journal articles ‘The Digital (De)territorialization of Ladino in the 21st century’ (Word: Journal of the International Linguistic Association, 2021) and ‘Decolonizing Spanish: Ladino and Chavacano as Sites of Global Hispanophonia.’(TRANSMODERNITY: Journal of Peripheral Cultural Production of the Luso-Hispanic World, 2022)