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This course is aimed at Freshman students who are interested in learning about the culture and society of modern Israel. The course will examine the transformative power of the early Zionist discourse in the formation of the nascent state and the challenges to this discourse in years to come. Consequently, the emaphasis in this class will be on the cultural and social manifistation of the tensions between the creeeds of “one nation” (am ehad) and “the melting pot” on the one hand and multiculturalism and identity politics on the other.

The first five classes will provide contextual and background accounts for later discussions. Then, until the middle of the semester, the class will focus on the various arenas of Israeli culture, past and present. The second part of the semster will be devoted to selected themes and case studies pertinent to culture and society in modern Israel. BN.