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The Palestinian-Israeli Conflict in History, Literature, Film

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Course DatesWeeksMeeting TimesStatusInstructor(s)CRN
June 23, 2014 - August 08, 20147M,W,TH 4P-6:40POpenChana Morgenstern60001

Course Description

An examination of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict through the lens of cultural production. We will read literature and film in combination with historical texts, exploring how cultural producers have responded to key events from the partition of Palestine in 1947 until the second Intifada. We will examine the way that novels, poetry, documentaries and films provide us with humanistic and alternative narratives on Israeli-Palestinian relations, exploring issues including nationalism, race, gender, colonialism, ethics, war and political resistance. We will examine the tension between historical and artistic production, analyzing how film and literature challenge, re-imagine and supplement historical and political accounts.

Students will develop a thorough knowledge of the historical conflict and of critical Israeli and Palestinian films and literary works on Israel-Palestinian history and relations. Through this course of study, we will develop an analysis of the ways in which aesthetic works create humanistic and alternative narratives on Israeli-Palestinian relations, examining key issues such as nationalism, race, gender, language, war, colonization, solidarity, ethics, subjectivity, violence, trauma and political resistance. Exploring the tension between historical and aesthetic production, we will look at how literary and cinematic works challenge, re-imagine and supplement historical and political accounts. What do works of literature and film tell us about the regional conflict that newspapers and history books cannot? Students will gain an understanding of both the history and critical issues of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict from an interdisciplinary perspective. We will develop methodologies and frameworks that will aid us in thinking critically about literature, history and film through reading, discussion, academic essays and creative projects.

All readings will be in English translation, although readings in the original Hebrew and Arabic will be available upon request. The instructor will work closely with students throughout the summer to develop their academic essay writing skills.