Academic Courses

Faculty at Brandeis teach a range of courses on Israel studies across several Brandeis departments. The following courses focus on Israel, backed up by multiple Brandeis courses that include an Israel studies element.

* All Israel Studies courses are offered via Brandeis departments and programs; the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies is not a degree-granting program.

Spring 2015

Israel Studies

FA/NEJS 183A — Breaking Boundaries in Contemporary Israeli Art
  Gannit Ankori & Ilana Szobel: NEJS and FA

Explores how the Creative Arts reflect, challenge, and reconfigure various cleavages and barriers that characterize contemporary Israeli society. This course will focus on literary, visual and cinematic artworks, organized around thematic clusters and major theoretical issues. [T, R 2:00-3:20 p.m.] 

FILM 124B — Israeli Documentary Film
  David Fisher: FTIM

Follows the documentaries in Israel from the founding of the state through the thematic liberalization after 1967 and the creation of radical narrative in the wake of 1973. A further transformation in the 1990s led to very personal stories. [M 2:00-4:50 p.m.]

NEJS 72A — Representing the Arab Israeli Conflict
  Ari Ofengenden: NEJS

Explores how the Arab-Israeli conflict is portrayed in literature, film and political writing. What are the ways in which we find conviction, legitimacy, moral support, pain and enjoyment in the images, narratives and ideas surrounding the conflict; what is the relationship between narrative and ideology; how are fictional representations and ideological discourse constructed poetically and rhetorically; what are the ways in which images repress/empower women who partake in the conflict. [M 2:00-3:20 p.m.]

NEJS 173A — Trauma and Violence in Israeli Literature and Film
  Ilana Szobel: NEJS

Explores trauma and violence in Israeli literature, film, and art. Focuses on man-made disasters, war and terrorism, sexual and family violence, and murder and suicide, and examines their relation to nationalism, Zionism, gender and sexual identity. Taught in Hebrew. [T, R 3:30 - 4:50 p.m.]

NEJS 185A — Conflict and Consensus in Israeli Society; Topics in Israeli Social History
  Ilan Troen: NEJS

Focuses on key topics in the shaping of the Israeli experience, including Zionist colonization; absorption of immigrants; shaping Jewish identity, personal and national, in a secular sense; and homeland/Diaspora relations. [M, W 3:30 - 4:50 p.m.]

NEJS 259a - Renaissance, Revolution, Redemption: Readings in Early Zionist Thought
  Yehudah Mirsky: NEJS

Explores the writings of a fascinating group of figures - including Bialik, Brenner, Gordon, Kook - poised on the cusp of traditional Jewish society and the nascent Zionist revolution. They explored the dilemmas of Jewish identity and modern politics and philosophy with great literary power and intellectual intensity. 
[W 2:00 - 4:50 p.m.]

POL 136B — Social and Political Movements in Israel
  Liora Norwich: Politics

Applies the scholarship on collective action and social movements to the case of Israel. Provides a comprehensive understanding of the social, religious, and ethnic conflicts that have shaped Israeli society and politics through a focus on the unique movements and campaigns that have driven them. [T, R 5:00-6:30 p.m.] 

Middle East Studies

POL 166B — Seminar: The Middle East in International Relations
  Shai Feldman: Politics

Explores how the concepts, theories, and paradigms from the field of International Relations can be used to analyze the politics of the Middle East. Provides a toolbox for understanding current and future developments in the ever-changing relations between the region's states. [M 2:00-4:50 p.m.]

ECON 122B — The Economics of the Middle East
Nader Habibi

Examines the Middle East economies - past experiences, present situation, and future challenges - drawing on theories, policy formulations and empirical studies of economic growth, trade, poverty, income distribution, labor markets, finance and banking, government reforms, globalization, and Arab-Israeli political economy. [M, W 3:30 - 4:50 p.m.]

Language-based Studies

Advanced Hebrew language courses at Brandeis include an active Israel Studies component, Click here for a listing. Yiddish and Arabic are also a regular part of the language curriculum in the department of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies.

Past and Recurring Courses

For a listing of past and recurring courses with an Israel Studies focus, click here.

Language-based StudiesPast and Recurring Courses