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Kamran Scot Aghaie, Chair CAL 528 | 204 W 21st St F9400 | Austin, TX 78712-1029 • 512-471-3881

Spring 2006

MES 325 • Ethnic and Social Israeli Cinema

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
41145 M
W
12:00 PM-2:00 PM
12:00 PM-2:00 PM
JES A203A
JES A203A
SHEMER

Course Description

The course is aimed at undergraduate and graduate students of Middle Eastern Studies, Jewish Studies, Hebrew, Radio-Television-Film and all students interested in studying Israeli culture and society as expressed in cinema. This course examines how Israeli films have addressed ethnicity and class issues. The official Zionist discourse of the past often foresaw the emergence of a society predicated on egalitarianism and made of people whose exilic ethnicities and identities will give way to the collective Israeli melting pot. However, Israel today is marked by increasing socio-economic gaps and by struggles revolving around identity politicssocial groups that attempt to advance their own sectorial interests and agendas. The last ten years of Israeli cinema have witnessed the rise of films explicitly critiquing Israel's social maladies. Contemporary films attest to the discursive tension of whether the ethnic issue still merits its own consideration or should be subsumed within a more general critique of social injustice. Fourteen films will be screened during the course of the semester.

Grading Policy

Class attendance and particip 20% Film reviews 10% Two papers 15%+20% Class presentation 10% Final exam 25%

Texts

Shohat, Ella. Israeli Cinema: East/West and the Politics of Representation, UT Press, 1989. - Loshitzky, Yosefa. Identity Politics on the Israeli Screen, UT Press, 2001. - Chetrit, Sami Shalom. The Mizrahi Struggle 1948 - 2003 (forthcoming). - Swirski, Shlomo. Israel: The Oriental Majority.

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