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New Book: Cohen, Literary Imagination in Israel-Palestine

Cohen, Hella Bloom. The Literary Imagination in Israel-Palestine. Orientalism, Poetry, and Biopolitics, Postcolonialism and Religions. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016.

literary imagination

This book presents a cutting-edge critical analysis of the trope of miscegenation and its biopolitical implications in contemporary Palestinian and Israeli literature, poetry, and discourse. The relationship between nationalism and demographics are examined through the narrative and poetic intrigue of intimacy between Arabs and Jews, drawing from a range of theoretical perspectives, including public sphere theory, orientalism, and critical race studies. Revisiting the controversial Brazilian writer Gilberto Freyre, who championed miscegenation in his revisionary history of Brazil, the book deploys a comparative investigation of Palestinian and Israeli writers’ preoccupation with the mixed romance. Author Hella Bloom Cohen offers new interpretations of works by Mahmoud Darwish, A.B. Yehoshua, Orly Castel-Bloom, Nathalie Handal, and Rula Jebreal, among others.

Table of Contents

  • Acknowledgments
  • 1. Introduction to Israeli-Palestinian Literature and Postcolonial Studies: An Uneasy Relationship
  • 2. Reading Freyre in the Holy Land
  • 3. “The Synthetic Principle”: Darwish’s “Rita”
  • 4. “Intimate Histories”: Internal Miscegenation in A. B. Yehoshua’s A Late Divorce
  • 5. “Mixed Syndicate”: Poetics of Fabric under Occupation
  • 6. Reading past Freyre: Disembodied Miscegenation
  • Notes
  • Bibliography
  • Index

 

HELLA BLOOM COHEN is an assistant professor of English at St. Catherine University, USA. She previously held a visiting assistant professorship at Elon University, and has published on material culture and global literature.

 

 

 

New Article: Kidron, Jews and Palestinian-Arabs in Mandatory Haifa

Kidron, Anat. “Separatism, Coexistence and the Landscape: Jews and Palestinian-Arabs in Mandatory Haifa.” Middle Eastern Studies 52.1 (2016): 79-101.
 
URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00263206.2015.1081177
 
Abstract

Haifa was named a ‘mixed city’ by the British, who ruled Palestine from 1917 to 1948, in reference to the two national communities that inhabited the town. This definition was not neutral, and reflected the Brits aspirations to create national coexistence in Palestine among the diverse urban societies.

Reality was more complicated. The basic assumption of this paper follows the idea that the bi-national urban society of Mandatory Haifa developed into dual society, albeit with much overlapping in economic and civil matters, but takes it one step further: through highlighting changes in the urban landscape, I wish to argue dominance of the national European modern Hebrew society over the Palestinian-Arabs and the traditional and oriental Jewish societies and ideas alike. The changes in the urban landscape tell us the story of Zionism’s growing influence and dominance, and the way the urban landscape was used to embody Zionism’s modern European ethos. The neighbourhood’s segregation, therefore, represents not only the effort to separate but to create a modern national ‘sense of place’ that influenced the city development.

 

 

 

New Article: Omer, Hitmazrehut or Becoming of the East

Omer, Atalia. “Hitmazrehut or Becoming of the East: Re-Orienting Israeli Social Mapping.” Critical Sociology (early view; online first).

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0896920515604475

 

Abstract

Through developing of the concept of hitmazrehut, the article highlights avenues for decolonializing and de-orientalizing sociopolitical theory and practice in Israel/Palestine. Hitmazrehut (literally ‘becoming of the East’) is understood as the transformation of relations between space, identity, and narrative through an intersectionality framework of social movement activism and intellectual counter-discourse. Exposing the intersections among sites of marginality as well as cultivating localized interpretations of identity (delinked from the orientalist positing of Israel in the ‘West’) would contribute to the possibility of the formation of transformative coalition building across national boundaries. Hitmazrehut is both an outcome and a necessary process for enabling geopolitical reframing. The article begins with the ahistorical and orientalist biases of sociological inquiry into the region. It continues with an analysis of efforts to localize and re-orient Jewish identity as well as the Mizrahi discursive critique of epistemological violence guiding sociological scholarship, double consciousness and patterns of ethnic passing.

 

 

New Article: Katz, Religion and Ethnicity in Israeli National Dolls

Katz, Maya Balakirsky. “Dressing Up: Religion and Ethnicity in Israeli National Dolls.” Religion & Gender 5.1 (2015): 71-90.

 
URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.18352/rg.10108  [PDF]
 
Dolls
 
Abstract

This article considers Israel’s national image both at home and abroad through the framework of Israeli costume dolls, looking specifically at the way that gender played a role in Israel’s national image as it travelled from domestic production to international reception. Initially, predominantly female doll makers produced three main types of Israeli dolls, but over time the religious Eastern European male doll triumphed in the pantheon of national types. Produced for retail sale to non-Hebrew speaking tourists by immigrant woman, the Eastern European religious male doll came to represent Israel abroad while the market pushed representations of the Middle Eastern Jewish woman and the native sabra child to the side-lines. This article examines the shift from the multi-ethnic collection of dolls as representative of the nation’s idea of itself to the privileging of the male Eastern European doll as representative of the normative image of Israel abroad.

 

 

New Article: Goldsmith, Israel, Palestine, and Queer/Feminist Ecologies

Goldsmith, Mitch. “From the River to the Sea: Israel, Palestine, and Queer/Feminist Ecologies.” UnderCurrents 19 (2015): 17-26.

 

URL: http://currents.journals.yorku.ca/index.php/currents/article/view/40251 [PDF]

 

Abstract

This paper seeks to provide an ecofeminist and queer critique of Israeli aggression towards and occupation of Palestine in three parts. Firstly, providing a critical analysis of tropes surrounding the creation of the Israel including early policies relating to land and afforestation. Secondly, by revealing how these tropes about the founding of Israel expose racist understandings about the supposed nature of Palestinians and Arabs (as backwards, queered and so on) and Thirdly, how these projections in the two previous sections about Israeli ingenuity and the supposed natural inferiority of Palestinians and Arabs informs current ecological mal/development in Israel and Palestine.

 

 

New Book: Guez, Pre-Israeli Orientalism (in Hebrew)

Guez, Dor. Pre-Israeli Orientalism: A Photographic Portrait. Tel Aviv: Resling, 2015 (in Hebrew).

 

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This book explores the complexity of expression of Orientalist perceptions as it formed during the first three decades of the 20th century among the first waves of immigration. Photographs of the period, presenting the Jewish immigrants with oriental clothing and accessories, are impressed by the yearning to assimilate in the East and belong to an authentic native source an aspiration maintained but for a moment, until its collapse in the aftermath of the 1929 riots. Immigrants wanted to experience the east as a “reality” with which they were familiar prior to their arrival. Their experience was thus painted by the initial experience of representation. It was as if they walked into a carefully staged photograph, confined by its frame and its codes of interpretation. The immigrants arrived in the East, after “seeing” it countless times, envisioning it as an ancient homeland with which they that can easily renewed their ties.

The book focuses in particular photograph of Abraham Soskin, “Tel Aviv’s photographer.” It presents a comparative discussion of orientalist photographs of other Jewish photographers and photographs of local and European photographers of the era. The Pre-Israeli Orientalist gaze, as reflected in these photographs, is characterized by an ambivalent attitude to the East and the indigenous Palestinians. Members of the Zionist movements left Europe that marked them as Orientals and the Semitic race, and sought to adopt here local identity markers. At the same time, by referring to this identity they sought to establish their western superiority through the adoption of colonial and Eurocentric practices – thus gaining a sense of superiority that was deprived of them in Europe.
The photos studied in this book reveal the overt fantasy of Zionism while forming a the “New Jew.” Today they might stir curiosity, surprise, amusement or revulsion and even ethical and ideological rejections. These reactions raise questions concerning contemporary culture as much as they concern the culture of that time. They indicate that this is a particularly suitable platform for a multifaceted discussion on the formation of Zionist consciousness in contemporary contexts.

 

Dr. Dor Guez was born in the Baka neighborhood of Jerusalem. He is the founder of the Christian Palestinian Archive and serves as the chair of the Department of Photography at the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design. As a scholar and an artist who displays his work in Israel and abroad, he focuses on the link between cultural discourse and national, political, and social reality in the Middle East, while examining the role of contemporary art in the composition process of historical narratives.

 

 

 

New Book: Monterescu, Jaffa Shared and Shattered

Monterescu, Daniel. Jaffa Shared and Shattered. Contrived Coexistence in Israel/Palestine. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2015.

9780253016775

 

Binational cities play a pivotal role in situations of long-term conflict, and few places have been more marked by the tension between intimate proximity and visceral hostility than Jaffa, one of the “mixed towns” of Israel/Palestine. In this nuanced ethnographic and historical study, Daniel Monterescu argues that such places challenge our assumptions about cities and nationalism, calling into question the Israeli state’s policy of maintaining homogeneous, segregated, and ethnically stable spaces. Analyzing everyday interactions, life stories, and histories of violence, he reveals the politics of gentrification and the circumstantial coalitions that define the city. Drawing on key theorists in anthropology, sociology, urban studies, and political science, he outlines a new relational theory of sociality and spatiality.

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction: Contrived Coexistence: Relational Histories of Urban Mix in Israel/PalestinePart I. Beyond Methodological Nationalism: Communal Formations and Ambivalent Belonging
    1. Spatial Relationality: Theorizing Space and Sociality in Jewish-Arab “Mixed Towns”
    2. The Bridled “Bride of Palestine”: Urban Orientalism and the Zionist Quest for Place
    3. The “Mother of the Stranger”: Palestinian Presence and the Ambivalence of SumudPart II. Sharing Place or Consuming Space: The Neoliberal City
    4. Inner Space and High Ceilings: Agents and Ideologies of Ethnogentrification
    5. To Buy or Not to Be: Trespassing the Gated CommunityPart III. Being and Belonging in the Binational City: A Phenomenology of the Urban
    6. Escaping the Mythscape: Tales of Intimacy and Violence
    7. Situational Radicalism and Creative Marginality: The “Arab Spring” and Jaffa’s Counterculture

    Conclusion: The City of the Forking Paths: Imagining the Futures of Binational Urbanism

    Notes
    References
    Index

Daniel Monterescu is Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology and Social Anthropology, Central European University. He is author (with Haim Hazan) of A Town at Sundown: Aging Nationalism in Jaffa and editor (with Dan Rabinowitz) of Mixed Towns, Trapped Communities: Historical Narratives, Spatial Dynamics, Gender Relations and Cultural Encounters in Palestinian-Israeli Towns.

New Article: Madar, From a Female Religious Jewish Performance to Israel’s Status as a Western or Non-Western Country

Madar, Revital. “Covered Yet Overexposed: From a Female Religious Jewish Performance to Israel’s Status as a Western or Non-Western Country.” International Journal of Fashion Studies 2.1 (2015): 115-120.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1386/infs.2.1.115_1

 

Abstract

Western discourse over the Muslim veil generated different discursive outcomes. It generalized the different practices of veiling used in the Muslim world, turned it into a symbol of women’s oppression, and remained indifferent to practices of veiling outside of the Muslim world. Research regarding this phenomenon focuses particularly on the political role Muslim practices of veiling play in the western world. In that light, I look at the overt meaning minor acts of covering up have in Israel, ignored in most western countries and argue that it originates in Israel’s self-image as a western country. As such, analyses can serve as a new perspective for thinking of the relation of the West with covertness in general, i.e. beyond a specific garment. The first part of this article describes my personal experiences as a secular woman who is identified as a Jewish religious woman in Israel. The second part discusses Jacqueline Kahanoff’s gaze on Palestinian women. After this, I discuss my work with Comme Il Faut, a local fashion house based in Tel Aviv. After stitching these three points together, the status of Israel as a western or non-western country is discussed, as well as future research.

 

CFP: The Past in the Present of the Middle East (CBRL Conference, April 15-16, 2016, London)

 
CBRL Conference: The Past in the Present of the Middle East
15 & 16 April 2016 at the London Middle East Institute in SOAS
The Council for British Research in the Levant is pleased to open a call for papers and posters for a two-day conference to be held in London with the LMEI to showcase the work of CBRL and its partners in the region. The conference will present sessions on a number of themes linking the past to the present day in the Middle East.
• Cultural heritage in conflict
• Cultural heritage, society and economics
• Britain and the Levant: Culture and (Mis)Communication
• The past in the political present: the legacy of colonialism and intervention
• The Politics of Dissent: challenges to Orientalism and Zionism
• The impact of research – working with humanitarian agencies/practitioners
Closing session: The future of the past in the Middle East
Participants in the conference will include both invited speakers and participants who respond to this call, including early career scholars sponsored by CBRL to undertake new research, as well as established scholars presenting their own research, and research partners from the region. The conference is intended as an opportunity to speak to a wide audience, not only the academic community but also policy makers, practitioners and members of the public. We believe that this event will make an important contribution to the profile of research in the region.
Please send proposed paper or poster titles and abstracts of no more than 250 words to CBRL@britac.ac.uk by September 7th 2015. We will notify participants whether their paper or poster has been accepted by the end of October.
The conference fee is £50 (with an early bird rate of £40 until 15 January 2016), with a discounted rate of £20 for student participants. The fee will cover attendance at the conference, including lunches during the conference and the conference reception.
The CBRL is the British Academy-sponsored organization that promotes, sponsors and carries out high-quality research in the humanities and social sciences throughout the countries of the Levant.
Please circulate to all interested colleagues.
Council for British Research in the Levant
10 Carlton House Terrace
London SW1Y 5AH.  UK

ToC: Israel Affairs 21.3 (2015)

Israel Affairs, Volume 21, Issue 3, July 2015 is now available online is now available online on Taylor & Francis Online.

Special Issue: Judea and Samaria Jewish Settlers and Settlements – Cultural Sociology of Unsettled Space: A Look From Within

This new issue contains the following articles:

Introduction
Introduction: Judea and Samaria Jewish settlers and settlements – cultural sociology of unsettled space
Miriam Billig & Udi Lebel
Pages: 309-312

Section 1: History and Philosophy of Jewish Settlement
Settlement in Samaria: the ethical dimension
Tamar Meisels
Pages: 313-330

The Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria (1967–2008): historical overview
Miriam Billig
Pages: 331-347

Section 2: Place Identities – Reality and Representation
Self-segregation of the vanguard: Judea and Samaria in the religious-Zionist society
Nissim Leon
Pages: 348-360

Settling the Military: the pre-military academies revolution and the creation of a new security epistemic community – The Militarization of Judea and Samaria
Udi Lebel
Pages: 361-390

Hilltop youth: political-anthropological research in the hills of Judea and Samaria
Shimi Friedman
Pages: 391-407

Judea and Samaria in Israeli documentary cinema: displacement, oriental space and the cultural construction of colonized landscapes
Eithan Orkibi
Pages: 408-421

Section 3: Dynamics of Regional Policy Making
Regional framing: Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip in the eyes of the security elite
Asaf Lebovitz
Pages: 422-442

Against all odds – the paradoxical victory of the West Bank settlers: interest groups and policy enforcement
Ami Pedahzur & Holly McCarthy
Pages: 443-461

‘A simple historical truth’: Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip in Menachem Begin’s ideology
Arye Naor
Pages: 462-481

Reviews: Jackson, Thin Description

Jackson, John L., Jr. Thin Description. Ethnography and the African Hebrew Israelites of Jerusalem. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2013.

 

thindescription

 

Reviews:

 

New Book: Halperin, Babel in Zion

Halperin, Liora R. Babel in Zion. Jews, Nationalism, and Language Diversity in Palestine, 1920-1948. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2014.

 

9780300197488

 

The promotion and vernacularization of Hebrew, traditionally a language of Jewish liturgy and study, was a central accomplishment of the Zionist movement in Palestine in the years following World War I. Viewing twentieth-century history through the lens of language, author Liora Halperin questions the accepted scholarly narrative of a Zionist move away from multilingualism, demonstrating how Jews in Palestine remained connected linguistically by both preference and necessity to a world outside the boundaries of the pro-Hebrew community even as it promoted Hebrew and achieved that language’s dominance. The story of language encounters in Jewish Palestine is a fascinating tale of shifting power relationships, both locally and globally. Halperin’s absorbing study explores how a young national community was compelled to modify the dictates of Hebrew exclusivity as it negotiated its relationships with its Jewish population, Palestinian Arabs, the British, and others outside the margins of the national project and ultimately came to terms with the limitations of its hegemony in an interconnected world.

Table of Contents

Note on transliteration and translation

Acknowledgements

Introduction: Babel in Zion

Languages of Leisure in the Home, the Coffeehouse, and the Cinema

Peddlers, Traders, and the Languages of Commerce

Clerks, Translators, and the Languages of Bureaucracy

Zion in Babel: The Yishuv in Its Arabic-Speaking Context

Hebrew Education between East and West: Foreign-Language Instruction in Zionist Schools

Conclusion: The Persistence of Babel

Notes

Bibliography

Index

 

New Book: Kizel, The New Mizrahi Narrative in Israel (in Hebrew)

קיזל, אריה. הנרטיב המזרחי החדש בישראל. תל אביב: רסלינג, 2014.

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The hyphenated narrative – the new Mizrahi narrative that stands at the center of a radical Mizrahi discourse – goes against the Zionism’s negation of an Oriental and Arab identity and posits itself as an alternative of an inntellectual and assertive identity. Arie Kizel’s book examines the rise and consolidation of the Mizrahi narrative which serves as a milestone in the struggle of conflicting narratives as an expression of various identities to express themselves as independent and hybrid among locations of Israeliness.

The author carefully examines the postcolonial and anti-Zionist origins of the Mizrahi narritve and the intellectual assault it launches against the very legitimacy of Zionism, as well as the morality of the political solution it created. This new narrative stance acknowledges the historical difficulties of its subversion, which is presented as emancipatory and especially as ethical. Its foundations relate to the victimized Palestinian narrative, and in its radical version seeks to collaborate with it in order create a new space that will favor Arabism – culturally, linguistically and even politically. This framework is expected to dismantle Zionist colonialism in relation to the regime of truth, the discourse of knowledge and the dominant power, along with rising voices and other narratives as part of a meeting point between anti-Zionism and postmodernism.

Using a three-stage narrative model the author examines the Mizrahi narrative’s attempt to challenge the limits of Israeli discourse, to dissociate from the hegemonic Zionist program, and to present a narrative plan that would allow the construction of a multicultural, anti-colonial model, and rehabilitate the space of Mizrahi-Arab identity. The author lays out the voices of opposition to the proposed narrative and analyzes the causes of the victimization stage it has reached and in which it is trapped, in a capitalist social reality created by Ashkenazi and Mizrahi Israelis and their joint children.

 

Reviews: Spiegel, Embodying Hebrew Culture

Spiegel, Nina S. Embodying Hebrew Culture. Aesthetics, Athletics, and Dance in the Jewish Community of Mandate Palestine. Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 2013.

 

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Reviews:

  • Heidecker, Liora Bing. “Review.” Nashim 26 (2014): 163-165.
  • Elron, Sari. “Review.” Middle East Journal 68.1 (2014): 165-166.
  • Zer-Zion, Shelly. “Review.” Journal of Israeli History 33.2 (2014): 241-244.
  • Manor, Dalia. “Review.” Journal of Modern Jewish Studies 15.1 (2016): 159-61.

Lecture: Smooha, Israel as Western and Non-Western (Taub Center, NYU, Nov 24, 2014)

Israel as Western and Non-Western
Professor Sammy Smooha, University of Haifa
November 24, 2014 –  5:00pm – 53 Washington Square South, 1st Floor
smooha

New Book: Yosef and Hagin, eds. Trauma and Memory in Israeli Cinema

Yosef, Raz and Boaz Hagin. Deeper than Oblivion. Trauma and Memory in Israeli Cinema. New York and London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2013.

oblivion

 

URL: http://www.bloomsbury.com/us/deeper-than-oblivion-9781441199263/

 

In this collection, leading scholars in both film studies and Israeli studies show that beyond representing familiar historical accounts or striving to offer a more complete and accurate depiction of the past, Israeli cinema has innovatively used trauma and memory to offer insights about Israeli society and to engage with cinematic experimentation and invention. Tracing a long line of films from the 1940s up to the 2000s, the contributors use close readings of these films not only to reconstruct the past, but also to actively engage with it. Addressing both high-profile and lesser known fiction and non-fiction Israeli films, Deeper than Oblivion underlines the unique aesthetic choices many of these films make in their attempt to confront the difficulties, perhaps even impossibility, of representing trauma. By looking at recent and classic examples of Israeli films that turn to memory and trauma, this book addresses the pressing issues and disputes in the field today.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments

Chapter 1: Sweet on the Inside: Trauma, Memory, and Israeli Cinema Boaz Hagin and Raz Yosef

Chapter 2: Postscript to Israeli Cinema: East/West and the Politics of Representation Ella Shohat

Chapter 3: Gender, the Military, Memory, and the Photograph: Tamar Yarom’s To See If I’m Smiling and American Films about Abu Ghraib Diane Waldman

Chapter 4: The Event and the Picture: David Perlov’s My Stills and Memories of the Eichmann Trial Anat Zanger

Chapter 5: The Agonies of an Eternal Victim: Zionist Guilt in Avi Mograbi’s Happy Birthday, Mr. Mograbi Shmulik Duvdevani

Chapter 6: Traces of War: Memory, Trauma, and the Archive in Joseph Cedar’s Beaufort Raz Yosef

Chapter 7: Memory of a Death Foretold: Fathers and Sons in Assi Dayan’s “Trilogy” Yael Munk

Chapter 8: Queering Terror: Trauma, Race, and Nationalism in Palestinian and Israeli Gay Cinema during the Second Intifada Raya Morag

Chapter 9: “Our Traumas”: Terrorism, Tradition, and Mind Games in Frozen Days Boaz Hagin

Chapter 10: History of Violence: From the Trauma of Expulsion to the Holocaust in Israeli Cinema Nurith Gertz and Gal Hermoni

Chapter 11: Last Train to the Holocaust Judd Ne’eman and Nerit Grossman

Chapter 12: Passages, Wars, and Encounters with Death: The Desert as a Site of Memory in Israeli Film Yael Zerubavel

Chapter 13: “Walking through walls”: Documentary Film and Other Technologies of Navigation, Aspiration, and Memory Janet Walker

Notes on Contributors

Index

 

Calendar of Events: Taub Center for Israel Studies, NYU, Fall 2014

Please join the Taub Center for Israel Studies for these exciting events in Fall 2014.

Event details can be found at www.taub.as.nyu.edu

October 21 – 5pm

“Is Arab/Jewish Coexistence in Israel Possible?”

Professor Yuli Tamir, former Israeli Education Minister

 

October 28 – 5:30pm

“Shattered Rhymes: The Life and Poetry of Erez Bitton”

Film Screening, Poetry Reading and Panel Discussion

 

November 9 – 4pm

Invisibles” and “Write Down, I’m Arab

Film Screenings and Discussion

Part of the Other Israel Film Festival

 

November 17 – 5pm

“The World Jewish Congress during the Holocaust: Between Restraint and Activism”

Professor Zohar Sagev, University of Haifa

 

November 24 – 5pm

“Israel as Western and Non-Western”

Professor Sammy Smooha, University of Haifa / NYU Visiting Professor

 

December 1 – 5pm

Title TBD

Professor Alon Confino, University of Virginia

 

December 4 – 5pm

“Citizen Strangers: Palestinians and the Birth of Israel’s Liberal Settler State”

Professor Shira Robinson, George Washington University

New Article: Aharoni, The Gender–Culture Double Bind in Israeli–Palestinian Peace Negotiations

Aharoni, Sarai B. “The Gender–Culture Double Bind in Israeli–Palestinian Peace Negotiations: A Narrative Approach.” Security Dialogue 45.4 (2014): 373-90.

 

URL: http://sdi.sagepub.com/content/45/4/373.abstract

 

Abstract

This article investigates structural conditions for women’s inclusion/exclusion in peace negotiations by focusing on the linkage between acts of gender stereotyping and cultural framing. Through a narrative analysis of semi-structured interviews with Israeli negotiators and administrators who participated in official negotiations during the Oslo peace process, I link two recent claims about how gender may affect negotiators’ understandings of strategic exchange: the gendered devaluation effect and the gender–culture double bind hypothesis. Building upon postcolonial feminist critique, I argue that narratives about women and cultural difference (a) demonstrate and engage with Israeli essentialist and Orientalist discourses about Arab culture and masculinity; (b) manifest how ideas about strategic dialogue and negotiations are gendered; and (c) convey how policymakers and negotiators may use cultural claims to rationalize women’s exclusion from diplomatic and strategic dialogue. Furthermore, the study implies that dominant framings of Israeli–Palestinian negotiations as a binary East–West encounter need to be replaced by a more nuanced conceptualization of cultural identity that captures contextual aspects of difference, including the existence of military power and masculine dominance.

New Article: Oppenheimer, On the Becoming of the Mizrahi Male Body

Oppenheimer, Yochai. “On the Becoming of the Mizrahi Male Body.” Orbis Litterarum 69.1 (2014): 23-56.

 

URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/oli.12018/abstract

 

Abstract

The representation of the Mizrahi male body in Israeli culture differentiates between the Western Ashkenazi body, which served as the standard of fitness and hygiene and of social functionality, and the Oriental Mizrahi body which, in hegemonic perspective, represented the defective, dangerous opposite of these qualities.

 In this context, I find it appropriate to use the concepts defined by Deleuze and Guattari about the body and its variety of emerging forms, which they understand not only as multifaceted forms of resistance to institutional imprint on the body but also as ways of creating flexible and multifaceted alternative possibilities of bodily experience. These concepts may well signify a place where Mizrahim themselves conduct a subversive literary discourse about Mizrahi corporeality, while deconstructing the hegemonic narrative framework related to the Mizrahi body. Dan-Benaya Seri (Misha’el) blurs the boundaries between men and women – as well as between humans and animals. Albert Suissa (Akud) elaborates on a new language of gestures and body positions that repudiates any meaningful interpretation. Mizrahi writing refused to reproduce the national Zionist Israeli body and was instead attentive to the living body and its multiple possibilities of becoming.