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Robert Abzug, Director CLA 2.402, 305 E 23rd St B3600, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-475-6178

Karen Grumberg

Associate Professor Ph.D.- 2004, University of California- Los Angeles

Karen Grumberg


  • Phone: 471-5134
  • Office: WMB 6.116
  • Office Hours: Tuesday 2:30 - 4:00
  • Campus Mail Code: F9400


Affiliated Research/Academic Unit

  • Ctr for Jewish Studies
  • Program in Comparative Literature 
  • Department of Middle Eastern Studies 
  • Center for Middle Eastern Studies


Contemporary Hebrew literature and comparative Jewish literatures (Hebrew, French, English)

J S 363 • Israel Through Its Literatur

40355 • Fall 2014
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm PAR 303
(also listed as C L 323, MEL 321, MES 342 )
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This course will encompass more than six decades of fiction and film, from the 1948 declaration of Israeli independence to the present time. We will read the works of the first Israeli generation from the late 1940s and early 1950s, and continue with those of the State Generation, or New Wave (including Amos Oz and A.B. Yehoshua), of the 1950s-1980s. We will continue with contemporary writing by women, Mizrahim, and Israeli Arabs, and, finally, arrive at postmodernism. Our explorations of Israeli literature will be marked by points of political turbulence and upheaval, beginning with the 1948 Arab-Israeli War and culminating in the recent Al-Aqsa Intifada. Along the way, we will examine some major themes of Israeli literature, including the shift from collective concerns to individual ones, the disillusionment with Zionism, the creation of an Israeli identity, and intergenerational conflicts. We will also consider the interaction between literature and various tensions in Israeli society (Jews and Arabs, Mizrahim and Ashkenazim, the religious and the secular).


(Subject to change) Moshe Shamir, With His Own Hands (1951) (Co-Op custom packet) Hill 24 Doesn’t Answer (Thorold Dickinson, 1955) - Film A. B. Yehoshua, “Facing the Forests” (1963) [course reader] Amos Oz, “Nomad and Viper” (1963) [course reader] Shulamit Hareven, City of Many Days (1972) (Co-Op custom packet) Aharon Appelfeld, Badenheim 1939 (1979) The Band’s Visit (Eran Kolirin, 2007) - Film Yona Wallach, Wild Light (selected poems, 1983) Eli Amir, Scapegoat (1984) (Co-Op custom packet) Meir Shalev, The Blue Mountain (1988) Waltz with Bashir (Ari Folman, 2008) - Film Sayed Kashua, Dancing Arabs (2002) Forget Baghdad (film) Orly Castel-Bloom, Human Parts (2002)


+/- scale 25% - Active Class Participation (may include brief oral presentations) 20% - Reading Responses 20% - Midterm (essay exam) 35% - Final Exam (essay exam)

J S 363 • Isrl/Palestn Confl In Lit/Film

40380 • Spring 2011
Meets TTH 930am-1100am PAR 203
(also listed as C L 323, HEB 374, MES 322K )
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Course Description

This upper-division undergraduate course will examine literary and cinematic representations ofelements of the Israel/Palestine conflict by the most important Israeli, Palestinian, and “Arab Israeli”writers and filmmakers. In a discussion-intensive course, students will be exposed to diverseperspectives of the conflict. Some of the central questions we will investigate are: What effect canliterature and film have on the conflict? Conversely, what effect has the conflict had on literature andfilm? Do authors and filmmakers on any side of the conflict have a moral obligation to represent it, or torepresent it in a particular way? What is the author or artist’s role in places at war? No knowledge ofHebrew or Arabic is necessary.


Ghassan Kanafani, from Men In the Sun; Mahmoud Darwish, from Unfortunately, It Was ParadiseAnton Shammas, Arabesques. Additional textbooks will be provided by the instructor.

Grading & Requirements

Quiz 10%Active Participation 20%Essay Exam 1 20%Essay Exam 2 20%Final Essay Exam 30%

J S 363 • Sacr/Sec In Contemp Jewish Lit

39965 • Fall 2010
Meets TTH 930am-1100am MEZ 1.120
(also listed as E 322, HEB 374, MES 322K, R S 353 )
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This course will examine contemporary Jewish literature from the U.S., France, and Israel, in terms of their relationship (or lack thereof) with Judaism and Jewishness. In this context, we will read well-known works by several major authors from each country. How does their work interpret Jewishness, if at all? Does it redefine the sacred? Conversely, what is the role of the secular in these texts? We will consider these and other questions, taking into account not only nationality, but also gender, ethnicity, and generational differences.



Mind-Body Problem, Counterlife, Pillar of Salt, Book of My Mother, Shadows of a Childhood, City of Many Days, Lover, Dolly City. Additional information regarding textbooks will be provided by the instructor.



To be provided by the instructor.


SPECIAL NOTE: This course satisfies Area V requirements for English and Area II requirements for Religious Studies.

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