ToC: Jewish Film & New Media 4.1 (2016; special issue on genres)

Jewish Film & New Media

Volume 4, Number 1, Spring 2016

Table of Contents


Guest Editors: Yaron Peleg and Yvonne Kozlovsky-Golan


New Article: Desai, Books Reviewers Assess Children’s Literature Set in Israel–Palestine

Desai, Christina M. “Reviewing Political Controversy: Books Reviewers Assess Children’s Literature Set in Israel–Palestine.” International Research in Children’s Literature 8.1 (2015): 45-60.





Because book reviewers influence which books are purchased for libraries and schools, it is important to understand the explicit or implicit criteria they employ. Reviewer practices with books on politically controversial topics set in Israel/Palestine and available to a US audience often reflect partisan views, with the dominant political discourse favouring the Israeli position, although this is far from ubiquitous. While some reviews avoid addressing the books’ politics, others are decidedly partisan. Many base their evaluations on their estimation of the degree of hope and political balance achieved in the works, yet these expectations are applied selectively. Some expect stories told from a pro-Palestinian perspective to be hopeful and balanced by sympathetic Israeli characters and opinions, but do not measure stories told from an exclusively Israeli perspective by the same yardstick. The strength of the dominant discourse is apparent in this selective application. Another common criterion is the educational usefulness of these books as teaching tools. Reviewers seldom evaluate them on their literary merits. This phenomenon illustrates Norman Fairclough’s assertion that the dominant political discourse is so internalised as to appear to be commonsense, and this obscures both its influence on one’s own worldview and the possibility of alternatives.



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.





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.

CFP: The 200th Anniversary of the Prussian Emancipation Edict for the Jews

Citizenship, Equality and Civil Society:

The 200th Anniversary of the Prussian Emancipation Edict for the Jews – 1812

International Conference, March 4th-6th, 2013 Jerusalem and Tel Aviv


This year, we will be commemorating the 200th anniversary of the Prussian Emancipation Edict for the Jews, in which civil rights were granted to the Jews of Prussia. Beyond its immediate effect on German Jewry, the Edict generated vigorous discussions over the fundamental principles of citizenship, the concept of civil society, and the status of minorities within society and the state. In contrast to the French Revolution, the Edict didn’t utterly transform the legal status of the Jews: they were not granted full and equal civil rights, and many of the rights that were granted were revoked soon after the Vienna Congress in 1815. Nevertheless, this historical moment confronted the ideas of the Enlightenment, the Haskala, Romanticism, and the emerging national discourse with concrete social policy in relation to minorities. In this confrontation, the question of the state’s relation to Jews served as a test case for more general and comprehensive questions about civil society.


This date provides an opportunity to examine the concepts of citizenship, civil society, and the relations between majority and minority groups as they developed in Germany and Israel. The contemporary debates over legal acts aimed at minorities, as well as the events of the previous summer in Israel, highlight the relevance of these issues to our present-day civil life.


Organizers: The conference is organized by the Leo Baeck Institute Jerusalem, the Minerva Center for Humanities at Tel Aviv University, the Rosenzweig Minerva Research Center at Hebrew University and the Institut für die Geschichte der deutschen Juden in Hamburg. The conference will take place in both Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.


The conference program:


Opening event for the general public with keynote speakers (in Hebrew).

One day is dedicated to historical issues, focusing on the concepts of citizenship, “civil society”, and relations between majority and minorities in the context of German Jewry. This day will take place in Jerusalem (in English).

One day is dedicated to discussions of the issues raised by the historical investigation on the previous day, in the Israeli contemporary context, with an emphasis on issues of civil society and minorities’ rights in Israel. This day will take place in Tel Aviv (in Hebrew).


According to this program, we invite scholars to present papers dealing with the following issues:

•             Historical aspects of the Prussian Edict for the Jews

•             The question of Jews and citizenship in the 19th and early 20th centuries in Germany

•             Questions of citizenship and civil society in the Israeli context

•             Minorities’ rights and political representation in Israel 


Please submit your paper proposal as follows:

• Contact information: name, email, and academic affiliation of the applicant • Up to 250-words abstract with the title of the paper • A 100-word biographical statement, in narrative form (one paragraph) All files should be sent in English in WORD files only.


Proposals should be sent by September 16th, 2012 to: