The Joshua A. Fishman papers include correspondence; writings by Fishman (both published and unpublished); lecture notes and
transcripts; audio and video tapes of some of Fishman's lectures; course outlines and notes representing most of the institutions
where he taught; reviews of Fishman's books; interviews; documents relating to Fishman's work at several centers for advanced
study; tributes honoring Fishman; language cartoons; research materials used in producing five of his books; and other research
materials largely pertaining to language and ethnicity. Several series in this collection are bilingual (in English and Yiddish).
Fishman's correspondence is multilingual, including documents in English, Yiddish, Hebrew, Spanish, French, German, Russian,
and Basque. Included in the collection are card file indexes to his correspondence and his written work.
Dr. Joshua Aaron Fishman is a renowned social scientist and a founder of the field of sociolinguistics. An acclaimed researcher,
Dr. Fishman's interests include language and ethnicity, language spread and change, Yiddish studies, bilingual education,
and traditional folk medicine. In the course of his career, Dr. Fishman has accumulated multiple honors and awards. He has
been a visiting fellow at almost all of the major Centers for Advanced Study in the world and has published more than 800
scholarly articles and books in both Yiddish and English.
Dr. Fishman was born on July 18, 1926, in Philadelphia to Aaron Samuel Fishman and Sonia (Horwitz) Fishman. He earned his
B.S. and M.S. in social studies from the University of Pennsylvania in 1948 and his Ph.D. in social psychology from Columbia
University in 1953. On December 23, 1951, he married Gella Schweid, with whom he has three children: M. Manuel, David Eliot,
After his graduation from Columbia, Fishman worked for some years as an educational researcher, first for the Jewish Education
Committee of New York and then for the College Entrance Examination Board in New York City. He also was on the faculty of
the psychology department of The City College of the City University of New York (then City College) from 1955-1958. Subsequently,
he worked as an associate professor and as Director of Research at the Albert M. Greenfield Center for Human Relations at
the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, until 1960. In 1960 he was hired by Yeshiva University, where he has remained
on the faculty until the present day; he became an emeritus professor in 1988. He began spending parts of the academic year
at Stanford University in 1963, and in 1992 was designated a visiting professor of linguistics at Stanford. Dr. Fishman also
has held summer or visiting appointments at Indiana University, Hebrew University (Jerusalem), Philippine Normal College (Manila),
Harvard University, Columbia University, the University of Hawaii, the University of Illinois, the University of San Francisco,
and the University of New Mexico.
The positions and titles that Dr. Fishman holds as of 2006:
- Distinguished University Research Professor of Social Sciences, Emeritus (Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology), Yeshiva
- Visiting Professor and Visiting Scholar, School of Education, Applied Linguistics and Department of Linguistics, Stanford
- Adjunct Professor of Multilingual and Multicultural Education, School of Education, New York University.
- Visiting Professor of Linguistics, City University of New York, Graduate Center
Property rights reside with the repository. Literary rights reside with the creators of the documents or their heirs. To obtain
permission to publish or reproduce, please contact the Public Services Librarian of the Dept. of Special Collections.