Topics in Modern Hebrew Literature
Film, fiction and the Israeli Reality
Spring 2001, 10A
Lewis Glinert
Office: 305 Bartlett Hall
Office hours: Tu. 1-2, Th 1-2


This course explores Israeli cinema and literature in the context of their social and historical backdrop of state-building, creation of an Israeli identity, war, secular-religious strife, and the Holocaust. In seeking to build a society on a radically self-reliant, secular Jewish self-image, Israelis have created a culture that is a complex interplay of traditional Jewish cultures, Mid Eastern, Western and East European motifs, and features that are uniquely Israeli. At the same time, the arts have undergone a precipitous shift from a national Zionist consensus to an introspective or cosmopolitan individualism, due in part to growing war-weariness and loss of ideology.
75% of the course will be devoted to film.
We will consider in detail the evolution of Israeli cinema thematically, its self-image and its place in Israeli society. We will also examine issues in rendering fiction into film, in Oz's My Michael and Kaniuk's Himmo King of Jerusalem .


Four 2-page essays (40% of the grade)
One final 10-page project (40% of the grade)
Two quizzes on Israeli cinema in general, based on Kronish's book (20% of the grade)
The essays and project are to be typed in Geneva 10 pt, double-spaced.

You will also be asked, at random, to report on films you have just studied. The quality of your report may affect your final grade.


The following books are required and can be purchased at the bookstore: The following have been placed on 24-hour reserve in Baker Library:




Readings should be completed by the date specified.
There will be no class on Tues May 29, and two replacement x hrs will be scheduled.

Week1, March 27/29:   Introduction/Early Zionist narratives

Week 2, Apr 3/5:   The War of Independence:

Week 3, Apr 10/12:   Childhood, adolescence and a shifting set of values:

Week 4 , Apr 17/19    The melting pot:

Week 5, Apr 24/26:   The Six Day War:

Week 6, May 1/3:    Arab and Jew:

Week 7, May 8/10: Responses to the Holocaust:

Week 8, May 15/17: Demythologizing the national struggle:

Week 9, May 22/24: Cinema of the Gulf War:

* If you have any questions about this course, you can reach Prof. Glinert at Lewis.H.Glinert@Dartmouth.EDU.

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