CMLT398B - Special Topics in Comparative Studies: Imagining the Other in Israeli Culture

Since its establishment in the late 1940s, the modern state of Israel has been populated by people representing faiths, ethnicities, languages, and cultures from all over the globe. Nevertheless, Jews of Eastern European origins have dominated the political and cultural climate of contemporary Israel. Through an exploration of literature and film, we will explore the ways in which the "other," is imagined in Israeli culture. By the end of this class you will have developed the ability to think, talk, and write critically about Modern Hebrew literature, modern Hebrew literary culture, and the relationship between Hebrew literature and Israeli nationalism. Israel is a pluralistic society founded on modern European nationalist principles. How has the tension between Israel’s different constituencies come to be expressed in literary form, and what can we learn about plural societies from the Israeli case?

Texts include:

“8 Great Hebrew Short Novels” (Toby) ed. Lelchuk and Shaked (Toby) 978-1592641123

Haim Sabato “Adjusting Sights” (Toby) 978-1592641277

Rutu Modan “Exit Wounds” (Drawn and Quarterly) 978-1897299838

Yoel Hoffman “Katchen and the Book of Joseph” (New Directions) 978-0811213738

David Grossman “See Under: Love” (Picador) 978-0312420697

Anton Shammas “Arabesques” (U of California) 978-0520228320

Dvora Baron “The First Day and Other Stories” (U of California) 978-0520085381

"Poets on the Edge" ed. Keller (SUNY) 978-0791476864.

Sheila Jelen “Intimations of Difference: Dvora Baron in the Modern Hebrew Renaissance”

Repeatable to 9 credits if content differs.

Also offered as ISRL349Q, JWST319Q, and HEBR498Q. Credit granted for following ISRL349Q, JWST319Q, CMLT398B, or HEBR498Q.