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Israel Studies Courses

Fall 2018

Mini-Course: Video Art in Israel - ISRL 281A
Time: Second half of semester // TBD
Instructor: Tamar Lazman
In the last two decades, Video Art has become one of the most dominant art fields in Israel, producing some of the most internationally successful Israeli artists. This workshop will examine Israeli Video Art as an important prism through which Israeli realities can be understood and experienced. These realities include, for example, Zionism, myth, memory, trauma and testimony. Through screenings, readings and discussion, we will locate Israeli Video Art in relation to its national and international context. In addition, participants will be given an opportunity to engage in a studio assignment. Participants will therefore gain a deeper familiarity with the contemporary Israeli art and the realities to which it reacts. Tamar Latzman is a working Israeli visual artist, whose work has been featured in New York, Barcelona, Tel Aviv, Austria, and Lithuania. More information about Ms. Latzman may be found: http://www.tamarlatzman.com/About

Intro to Israeli Literature - ISRL 120
Cross listed: JUST 120 / COLI 180P
Time: T/R 10:05-11:30
Gen Ed: H, G
Instructor: Lior Libman
This survey course introduces students to texts (poems, short stories, novels) and themes (nation-building, conflict, gender constructions, ethnic and religious tensions) in Israeli literature from 1948 to the present. We will place literary works within their historical, cultural and political contexts and examine them to illustrate the main features of the time. Texts will be read in translation. No previous knowledge is required. The course is a Core Course for the Minor in Israel Studies, a Literature Course for the Major/Minor in Hebrew, and an Area Course in Israel Studies for the Major/Minor in Judaic Studies.

Modern Israel - ISRL 150
Cross listed: JUST 150 / HIST 150
Time: T/R 11:40-1:05
Gen Ed: N
Instructor: Shay Rabineau
This course presents an overview of the history of Israel from its origins in the Zionist movement to the present. Key topics include: political relations and international diplomacy leading to the establishment of the state in 1948; Israel's wars with its neighbors; conflict with the Palestinians; religion and government; internal divisions between Ashkenazic and Sephardi/Mizrachi Jews; and Israeli cultural life. No previous knowledge is assumed or required.
Students who had taken the course under the original number will not receive credit for re-taking the course with the new number.

Cultures and Society in Israel - ISRL 227
Cross listed: JUST 227 / LING280E / ANTH 280C
Time: M/W/F 9:40-10:40
Gen Ed: G, N, W
Instructor: Assaf Harel
This course examines the complexity of contemporary Israeli culture and society. To gain an introductory understanding of Israeli experiences today, we will begin with the formation of political Zionism and move on to engage with the increasing diversity of Israeli society and culture. We will explore central themes in Israeli life such as religion and secularism, minority majority relations, military, gender, sexuality, pop culture and globalization. Throughout the course, we will critically discuss the readings, films and clips in order to develop a reflexive awareness of our own analytical and personal positions in relation to the subject matter. In addition, you will pursue individual research projects that will deepen your familiarity and understanding of a sociocultural question pertaining to Israel and thus gain training in research, writing and presentation skills. By the end of this course, you will possess basic knowledge and analytical tools that will enable you to critically examine Israeli culture and society.

Walking the Land - ISRL 321
Cross listed: JUST 321 / HIST 321
Time: T/R 1:15 - 2:40
Gen Ed: H, O
Instructor: Shay Rabineau
WALKING THE LAND: HIKING AND PILGRIMAGE IN MODERN ISRAEL/PALESTINE/THE HOLY LAND - This course explores the religious traditions and political movements that have attached significance to the act of walking the land between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, beginning in the late Ottoman period and continuing to the present day. Students who had taken the course under the original number will not receive credit for re-taking the course with the new number.

The Kibbutz in Israeli Culture - ISRL 324
Cross listed: JUST 380D
Time: T/R 1:15-2:40
Gen Ed: H
Instructor: Lior Libman
The course focuses on representations of the kibbutz, a unique Israeli social formation which aimed at combining Zionism and Socialism, nation-building and the construction of a new, just society. Throughout the past hundred years, the kibbutz has been portrayed in countless literary texts and visual images. In this class, we will analyze and discuss selected literary and cinematic works from different genres and periods to examine the history of the kibbutz-image and the relationship between it and the kibbutz's history, while also asking, in a broader context, how social and political visions are shaped in, and are shaping, images. Texts will be read in translation. No previous knowledge is required, but for students who took Intro to Israeli Lit. this course will be a continuation of their studies. The course is an Area Course in Literature for the Minor in Israel Studies, a Literature Course for the Major/Minor in Hebrew, and an Area Course in Israel Studies for the Major/Minor in Judaic Studies.

Religion and Faith in Israel - ISRL 386K
Cross listed: JUST386B / RELG 380G
Time: M/W/F 1:10-2:10
Gen Ed: N
Instructor: Assaf Harel
This course examines religion in Israel from an ethnographic perspective. That is, it centers on knowledge that emerges from real-life encounters and experiences. Accordingly, we will engage with ethnographic works as a way of gaining a deeper understanding of the diversity of Israeli religious realities. The course will cover topics such as Religious Zionism, Ultra Orthodoxy, fundamentalism, Christian pilgrimage, Islamic and Jewish revival, New Age and more.

Spring 2018

Intro to Israeli Literature - 30568 - ISRL 120 - 90 (Libman)
This survey course introduces students to the many forms (poetry, short-stories, novels) of and themes (ethnic and religious tension, conflict, love, identity) in Israeli literature. We will place literary works within their historical, cultural and political contexts and examine texts to illustrate the main features of the time. Texts will be read in translation.'
General Education: G - Global Interdependencies, H - Humanities
Class 9:40 am - 10:40 am MWF Science Library 206 

Cultures and Society in Israel - 28748 - ISRL 227 - 01 (Harel)
This course is a study of the many religious, ethnic, political, and linguistic dimensions of modern Israeli culture and society. It examines the forces that affect them, the divides between them, their interactions with each other, and their manifestations in music, film, art, and literature.
General Education: G - Global Interdependencies, N - Social Science
Class 9:25 am - 10:50 am TR Downtown Center 120A

Israeli Palestinian Conf in Lit - 30757 - ISRL 327 - 01 (Libman)

The ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict has been represented in a wide body of Israeli and Palestinian literary works of varied genres. In this course, we will read, analyze and discuss, side by side, poems, short stories and novels by both Israeli and Palestinian writers exploring questions of homeland, exile and return, longing and belonging, Self and Other. We will examine the relationships between historical, political and literary narratives, and the ways in which images and metaphors both reflect and shape national affinities. We will also juxtapose the geo-political conflict with other core issues such as religion, ethnicity, gender and sexuality.
General Education: H - Humanities, O - Oral Communication
Class 1:10 pm - 2:10 pm MWF Student Services Wing 329

Fall Mini Courses

ISRL 285 Video Art in Israel
Begins October 31
Tuesdays 2:50pm - 5:50pm

In the last two decades, Video Art has become one of the most dominant art fields in Israel, producing some of the most internationally successful Israeli artists. This workshop will examine Israeli Video Art as an important prism through which Israeli realities can be understood and experienced. These realities include, for example, Zionism, myth, memory, trauma and testimony. Through screenings, readings and discussion, we will locate Israeli Video Art in relation to its national and international context. In addition, participants will be given an opportunity to engage in a studio assignment. Participants will therefore gain a deeper familiarity with the contemporary Israeli art and the realities to which it reacts.

This course is taught by Tamar Latzman. Ms. Latzman is a working Israeli visual artist, whose work has been featured in New York, Barcelona, Tel Aviv, Austria, and Lithuania. More information about Ms. Latzman may be found: http://www.tamarlatzman.com/About

ISRL 288 Encountering Israel and Palestine
Begins October 25 
M/W 3:00PM - 4:30PM
Instructor Assaf Harel

Few places attract as much spiritual and political attention as the Israeli and Palestinian space. This course offers students the possibility of gaining a better understanding of Israeli and Palestinian realities through exploration of lived experience of the local people. Rather than taking a comprehensive historical approach, it allows student to engage in brief yet critical intellectual encounters with central elements of Israelis and Palestinian lives such as religion, politics, violence and the mundane.

FALL 2017
rabineau

ISRL 227 Cultures and Society in Israel,  MWF 1:10-2:10

Assaf Harel

This course is a study of the many religious, ethnic, political, and linguistic dimensions of modern Israeli culture and society. It examines the forces that affect them, the divides between them, their interactions with each other, and their manifestations in music, film, art, and literature.

ISRL 120 Intro to Israeli Literature; TR 10:05-11:30

Lior Libman, 

This survey courses introduces students to the many forms of (poetry, short-stories, novels) and themes in (ethnic and religious tension, conflict, love, identity) Israeli literature. Texts will be read in translations. Texts in the original may be provided for students with relevant language skills.

ISRL 324 The Kibbutz in Israeli Culture; TR 1:15-2:40

Lior Libman

The course focuses on representations of the kibbutz, a unique Israeli social formation which aimed at combining Zionism and Socialism, nation-building and the construction of a new, just society. Throughout the past hundred years, the kibbutz has been portrayed in countless literary texts and visual images. In this class, we will analyze and discuss selected literary and cinematic works from different genres and periods to examine the history of the kibbutz-image and the relationship between it and the kibbutz’s history, while also asking, in a broader context, how social and political visions are shaped in images.

ISRL 347 Modern Israel; T/TR 10:05-11:30

Shay Rabineau

This course will trace the political and cultural history of Israel from the formation of the Zionist movement at the end of the 19th century to the last years of the 20th century. It will examine Zionist ideologies and settlement projects, the Israel-Arab conflict, issues relating to religion and state in Israel, the development of Israeli culture and other subjects.

ISRL 386 Ethnography of Religion in Israel

Assaf Harel

This course examines religion in Israel from an ethnographic perspective. That is, it centers on knowledge that emerges from real-life encounters and experiences. Accordingly, we will engage with ethnographic works as a way of gaining a deeper understanding of the diversity of Israeli religious realities. The course will cover topics such as Religious Zionism, Ultra Orthodoxy, fundamentalism, Christian pilgrimage, Islamic and Jewish revival, New Age and more. 

ISRL 427 Environmental Historycrn 29435 /JUST 427, crn 29433; M 1:40-4:40

Shay Rabineau

This course focuses the problems and possibilities associated with settling large numbers of people in the contested land of Israel-Palestine with its limited natural resources, and examines the dynamics between environmental issues, politics, technology, and military conflict in the modern Middle East.

Spring 2017

ISRL 280: Early Zionist Thought - 27709 - JUST 211 - 01

This course will explore early Zionist thought in its historical contexts, focusing on debates between political, cultural, and religious Zionists. The course is intended to provide a grounding in the foundational nineteenth and early twentieth century texts of Zionism and to understand the philosophical and religious background, ideas, consequences (and debates between) some of the various voices in early Zionist thought. Topics and themes will include: emancipation, anti-Semitism, assimilation, sources of authority, models and visions of nation and nationalism, religion and secularism, exile, diaspora, and relation to ancient history and tradition. 
INSTRUCTOR:  Randy Lee Friedman
Class T R  10:05 - 11:30, LH 11

ISRL 258: Mapping the Modern Middle East - 29778 - JUST 258 - 01

This course is a history of modern efforts to map the Middle East, covering topics including: pre-modern maps created by the Ottomans and others; Napoleon’s mapping of Egypt and Palestine at the end of the 19th century; religious maps; surveys conducted by American and European Christians; maps created for commercial and colonial interests; conflicts between modern mapping/land ownership regimes and nomadic tribal boundaries; and contemporary/open-source maps. Israel/Palestine/Holy Land is a major geographic area of focus, but the course also explores the wider Middle East and North Africa.
INSTRUCTOR:  Shay Cole Rabineau
Class MWF  9:40 - 10:40, FA 342

ISRL-PALS Conflict - 21729 - JUST 380P - 01

The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: Israel-Palestine comprises the territory that lies between the Mediterranean Sea (on the west), Lebanon (in the north), the Gulf of Aqaba and the Sinai Peninsula (on the south) and the Jordan River (on the east). Although it covers a small geographic area and includes a relatively small population (compare present-day Israel's 8 million citizens with Egypt's 90 million), the dispute between the two rival sets of nationalisms which claim the sole right to control this territory has remained at the forefront of international attention for more than half a century. Thiscourse will examine the origins of the Arab-Israeli dispute from the mid-nineteenth century through the founding of the state of Israel and expulsion/flight of three quarters of a million Palestinians from their homes till the present day. Among the topics to be examined: the social history of Palestine up to Zionist colonization, the origins of Zionism and Palestiniannationalism, varieties of Zionism, Zionism and colonialism, seminal events and their consequent symbolic connotations (the 1936 "Great Revolt," the 1948 "Nakba" [disaster]) and creation of the state of Israel, the construction of a national consensus in Israel, 1967 and its aftermath, the intifada, and the redefinition of the conflict as a result of Oslo, the second intifada, the security fence, HAMAS, Hizbollah and the Lebanon War. 

INSTRUCTOR:  Sahy Cole Rabineau
Class M W F  1:10 - 2:10, ABB 113

ISRL 280 Hebrew and Death of Yiddish - 24543 - JUST 280M - 01

Before the Second World War, in Europe, Yiddish was seen as a contender for the title of the national Jewish language. After the war the Jewish State saw an influx of European, Yiddish speaking refugees and a larger influx of Jews from Arabic speaking countries. Yet neither Yiddish nor Arabic became the language of the new state. Hebrew did. Using fiction, film and political literature, this class will examine how language was used in Israel as a political tool and as a vehicle for nation building in the early years of statehood. 

INSTRUCTOR:  Gina Glasman
Class  T R 11:40 - 1:05, SW 310

Fall 2016

ISRL 120/JUST 280Q/COLI 180P Intro to Israeli Literature

This survey courses introduces students to the many forms of (poetry, short-stories, novels) and themes in (ethnic and religious tension, conflict, love, identity) Israeli literature. Texts will be read in translations. Texts in the original may be provided for students with relevant language skills.

ISRL 284R/JUST 284R Walking the Holy Land

WALKING THE LAND: HIKING AND PILGRIMAGE IN MODERN ISRAEL/PALESTINE/THE HOLY LAND This course explores the religious traditions and political movements that have attached significance to the act of walking the land between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, beginning in the late Ottoman period and continuing to the present day.

ISRL 347/ JUST 347/HIST 347  Modern Israel

This course will trace the political and cultural history of Israel from the formation of the Zionist movement at the end of the 19th century to the last years of the 20th century. It will examine Zionist ideologies and settlement projects, the Israel-Arab conflict, issues relating to religion and state in Israel, the development of Israeli culture and other subjects.  Grades based on midterm (30%), final exam (30%), seminar paper (30%), and class participation (10%).

ISRL 320: Israeli Literature, Culture, and Society 

In this course, students will examine key issues in society and culture in Israel through the study of its diverse literary streams. Students will engage with different genres, such as poetry, short stories, and novels, and will address questions of memory, identity, conflict, class, gender, ethnicity, and national minorities. All readings will be available in English translation and will include works by Yehuda Amichai, Amos Oz, Dahlia Ravikovitch, David Grossman, Orly Castel-Bloom, Etgar Keret, Sayed Kashua, and others.

Last Updated: 3/21/18