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New Undergraduate Course Supplement 2019


MES 17.17 Arab Jewish Culture in the Modern Middle East

Who are the Arab Jews? Is the controversial notion of such a group really that oxymoronic? How do they self-identify, what modes of writing do they establish to represent their experience and how are they represented by others? This course will examine the stories of Jews of Arab descent with particular emphasis on their anomalous place in the cultural production of the Middle East that spanned over a century and a half. We will consider the transformation of Arab Jewish experience in various historical configurations and analyze the various media and literary genres with which this group expresses itself. Discussion will also draw on interdisciplinary scholarship to address questions of memory and self-narration, hybridity and cosmopolitanism, literature and identity politics. Alternative views will be afforded of both Arab and Jewish historiographies, political movements and collective myths. We will read works by Jacqueline Kahanoff, Samir Naqqash, Sami Michael, Shimon Balas, Ronny Somek, and Ronit Matalon and scholarship by Lital Levy, Hannan Hever, Orit Bashkin, and Yehuda Shenav. We will also see and hear films and music created by and about Arab Jews.

The Timetable of Class Meetings contains the most up-to-date information about a course. It includes not only the meeting time and instructor, but also its official distributive and/or world culture designation. This information supersedes any information you may see elsewhere, to include what may appear in this ORC/Catalog or on a department/program website. Note that course attributes may change term to term therefore those in effect are those (only) during the term in which you enroll in the course.