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Poetic Pasts: Ladino History by Other Means – ucLADINO 2023

Apr 4, 2023 @ 9:00 am - 4:00 pm

In its eleventh consecutive year, the ucLADINO symposium remains dedicated to encouraging the study of Ladino: the endangered language of the Sephardic Jewish diaspora and its multifaceted histories. Through literary artifacts, written and oral testimony, as well as musical works, this event explores how to poetically approach Sephardic indigeneity. Particularly significant is Ladino culture’s vast archive, composed of diaries, family stories, religious manuals, burial practices, dietary laws—even dreams. The ‘poetic past’ is conceived broadly. It entails cultural acts directed at transmitting an unsung Sephardic heritage to the present and future. Such acts are forged through the expressive media of word and song, narratives by which we choose to live. In addition to political activism committed to tikkun olam (repair what has been broken) and bal tashchit (do not destroy or waste), Ladino histories encompass the healing arts, painting, sculpture, dance, and performance.

Online via Zoom

Keynote Speakers:
Prof. Tabea Alexa Linhard
(Washington University in St. Lous)

Dr. Cara Judea Alhadeff (Independent Scholar / Artist)

Sponsored by the Maurice Amado Program in Sephardic Studies, the UCLA Department of  European Languages & Transcultural Studies, the UCLA Department of Near Eastern Languages & Cultures, The UCLA Department of Spanish and Portuguese, and the UCLA Alan D. Leve Center for Jewish Studies

Art courtesy of:

Micaela Amateau Amato: http://www.micaelaamato.com/

Cara Judea Alhadeff: https://carajudeaalhadeff.com/




Tuesday, April 4, 2023
9 – 9:05am: Opening Remarks

9:05 – 9:50am: Keynote by Prof. Tabea Alexa Linhard, Secrets and Lives: Myriam Moscona’s Novels

9:50 – 10:00am: Break

10:00 – 11:00am: Panel One: Exegesis

  • –  Dr. Hannah Pressman, ‘A Way of Knowing’ : Towards a Theory of American Sephardic Memoir
  • –  Dr. Derya Fezila Agis, Poetry as Life-Lesson: Judeo-Spanish and Italian Tombstone Inscriptions of Jewish Women
  • –  Prof. Dario Miccoli, Sephardi Foodways and the Memory of Jewish Rhodes

11:00 – 11:10am: Break – Projected Images from Zazu Dreams: Between the Scarab and the Dung Beetle, A Cautionary Fable for the Anthropocene Era

11:10 – 12:10pm: Panel Two: Place-Names

  • –  Dr. Leah Davcheva, Kaleidoscope of Identities: Tales of Ladino by Sephardic Jews in Bulgaria
  • – Dr. Marcel Israel, On Rare Sephardic Names: Surnames and Nicknames from the Balkans

11:45 – 11:50am: Short Break

11: 50 – 12:40pm: Panel Three: Testimonials

  • – Rachel Amado Bortnick & Prof. Rina Benmayor, Bien Oyeresh lo Ke Dira / Take Heed of this Story
  • – Prof. Micaela Amateau Amato, Mi Korazon Sospira

12:40 – 1:20pm: Lunch Break – Projected Images from Micaela Amateau Amato

1:20 – 2:20pm: Panel Four: Recitations

  • – Prof. Jane Mushabac, ‘Kantiga,’ A Contemporary Ladino ‘Song of Songs’
  • – Nesi Altaras, Bringing Back ‘The Sota Waters’
  • – Prof. Rivka Amado, Ladino Songs: A Performance

2:20 – 2:25pm: Break – Projected Images from Cara Judea Alhadeff

2:25 – 3:10pm: Keynote by Dr. Cara Judea Alhadeff, Quantum Entanglements: ReAnimating the Embodied Language of Ladino

3:10 – 3:40pm: Recapitulation & Gathering


Apr 4, 2023
9:00 am - 4:00 pm
Event Category:


UCLA Alan D. Leve Center for Jewish Studies
(310) 825-5387
View Organizer Website