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Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies


Dynamic, brash, daring, innovative and even sexy are all images that have been used to describe Israel and Israelis. These images are not only relatively new—less than 50 years old—but were not traditionally associated with Jews, who were often seen as subordinate, weak, craven and decidedly unsexy. How did this change come about and within a remarkably short span of time? Focusing on the new Jewish culture that developed in Palestine in the first fifty years of the 20th century and the many innovations that comprised it, this project explores the new ideas and practices about language, literature, aesthetic sensibilities of body, sexuality and fashion, as well as art music and spatial design—building new cities and villages from scratch—that shaped modern Israel as we know it today.

Faculty Researchers