It should come as no surprise that, for most, the mention of Israel and Palestine conjointly conjures up conflict, wars, and hostility.  Even as this proposed course provides the historical parameters of the ongoing discord between two nationalities, its emphasis lies in the various collaborations and exchanges between Israelis and Palestinians in the realm of culture, and particularly in literature, cinema, and music.  These connections involve, inter alia, language (Israeli-Jewish authors writing in Arabic and Palestinians writers who choose Hebrew as their language of expression), collaboration in filmmaking, and joint educational initiatives.  Clearly, the course is not designed to create a facile portrayal of the two national groups and suggest that in those collaborations the two parties have an equal footing and shared power.  Instead, the course will focus on close reading of cinematic and literary texts which, ultimately, will point to the unequal status of the participants but also the ways those connections may empower the two sides.

Numerous films and novels feature a Palestinian-Israeli love story. “Can love win?,” which is the topic of several classes toward the end of the semester, will explore the relations between Palestinian-Israeli love stories and the realm of politics.  Some of the works the class studies will reveal not only the patent interference of the public (i.e., politics) with the private sphere of love, but also how desire itself for the other is aroused by the politics of separation. BN, GL.