MES 381 • Seminar in Middle Eastern Civilizations and Cultures
3:30 PM-6:30 PM
As an introduction, this course begins with a survey of the main lines in the development of historiography in the 19th and 20th centuries. The Second part of the introduction is a discussion of the new trends in historiography that developed in the last third of the 20th century: history of memory and based on memory, history based on experience, history of identities, virtual and speculative history, psycho-history and history of mentalities. The discussion will focus on the impact of these trends on traditional/conventional historical writing and on the relations between history and other disciplines.
The main body of the course is to analyze these developments in Jewish, Zionist and mainly modern Israeli historiography, beginning with Grätz and ending with the current controversy with post-Zionism. This analysis examines the structure of historical studies in Israel and its reasons; the relations between Jewish historiography and Jewish nationalism; between academic and non-academic historiography; the development of the "Jerusalem School" and its critiques; the phenomena of "new historians" and "critical sociologists", and the main controversies between them and traditional historians and sociologists over the beginning of Jewish statehood. The third and final part of the course deals with the relations between history and narrative, history and memory, and history and myth in their Israeli context. It will endeavor to answer the question whether there is a way out of the present crisis of Israeli and World historiography.
Gertrude Himmelfarb, The New History and the Old, Cambridge MA, Harvard University Press 2004. Arthur Marwick, The New Nature of History, Lyceum Books, London 2001 Jacques Le Goff, History and Memory, New York 1992 Allan Megill, '"Grand Narrative" and the Discipline of History', in Frank Ankersmit and Hans Kellner (eds.), A New Philosophy of History, Reaktion Books, London 1995, pp. 151-173 Geoffrey R. Elton, The Practice of History, Sidney 1967 Edward Halet Carr, What Is History, London 1961 Joyce Appleby, Lynn Hunt and Margaret Jacob, Telling the Truth about History, Norton, New York 1995 Ernst Breisach, On the Future of History: The Postmodernist Challenge and its Aftermath, The University of Chicago Press, Chicago 2003 Fritz Stern, The Varieties of History: From Voltaire to the Present, Cleveland and New York 1956 Peter Burke, The French Historical Revolution: The Analles School, 1929-1989, Stanford University Press, Stanford 1990 Richard Evans, In Defence of History, Norton, New York 1999 Keith Windschuttle, The Killing of History: How Literary Critics and Social Theorists Are Murdering Our Past, The Free Press, New York 1997 Yosef Hayim Yerushalmi, Zakhor: Jewish History and Jewish Memory, University of Washington Press, Seattle 1982 Amos Funkenstein, Perceptions of Jewish History, University of California Press, Berkeley 1993 Ephrayim Karsh, The Fabrication of Israeli History, London, Frank Cass 1997. David N. Myers, Re-Inventing the Jewish Past: European Jewish Intellectuals and the Zionist Return to History, Oxford University Press, New York 1995 David Myers and David Ruderman (eds.), The Jewish Past Revisited: Reflections on Modern Jewish Historians, Yale University Press, New Haven 1998 Ephraim Nimni (ed.), The Challenge of Post-Zionism: Alternatives to Israeli Fundamentalist Politics, Zed Books, London & New York 2003 Gabriel Piterberg, 'Domestic Orientalism: The Representation of "Oriental" Jews in Zionist/Israeli Historiography', British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies, 23 (2) November 1996, pp. 129-132 Laurence J. Silberstein (ed.), New Perspectives on Israeli History: The Early Years of the State, NYU University Press, New York 1991 Laurence J. Silberstein, The Postzionism Debate: Knowledge and Power in Israeli Culture, Routledge, New York and London 1999 Anita Shapira and Derek J. Penslar (eds.), Israeli Historical Revisionism: From Left to Right, Frank Cass, London 2003