Contact and Conflict: Literatures of Israel and Palestine
The Palestinian/Israeli conflict is a subject of international headlines and intense controversy. This course introduces major Israeli and Palestinian novelists and poets, whose writing reveals the interior lives of individuals, communities, and social movements behind the slogans captured in the news. The course explores how Palestinians and Israelis have narrated personal and collective stories to create a sense of identity, locate a place in history, and express longing for a homeland. Our discussions will contrast representations of common themes: loss and memory, exile and refugee, war and occupation, oppression and resistance. Readings include memoirs, novels, reportage, and poetry in English translation, and students who can read Hebrew or Arabic are welcome. Authors include Yehuda Amichai, Mahmoud Darwish, David Grossman, Emile Habiby, Ghassan Kanafani, Sahar Khalifeh, Amos Oz, Anton Shammas, A. B. Yehoshua, S. Yizhar. Assignments consist of one collaborative oral report, weekly responses to the readings, and two written essays.