Imagined Israel(s): Representations of the Jewish State in the Arts


The return of Jews to their ancestral land can be seen as an act of imagination. A new country, citizenship, language, and institutions needed to be imagined in order to be created. The arts, too, have contributed to this act of envisioning and shaping the Jewish state. By examining artistic representations of Israel, Imagined Israel(s): Representations of the Jewish State in the Arts explores the ways in which the Israel imagined abroad and the one conjured within the country intersect, offering a space for the co-existence of sociopolitical, cultural, and ideological differences and tensions.

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Rocco Giansante, Ph.D (2019) is a film scholar. He has written, among other things, about transnational Israeli cinema and Nanni Moretti. He currently works at Yad Vashem, Israel’s Holocaust memorial.

Luna Goldberg, M.A. (2018) is a curator, author, and museum educator, specializing in contemporary art and identity politics. She currently serves as the education manager at Florida International University’s Jewish Museum of Florida and The Wolfsonian.    
List of Figures

Rocco Giansante and Luna Goldberg

Part 1: Building from the Ground Up: Landscape, Language, and Culture

1 The Visual Type as an Image of a People: Hebrew Typography throughout History and Its Representation of Jewish and Israeli Identity
Guy Eldar

2 Fictional Canon: Reconsidering Karl Schwarz’s Modern Jewish Art in Eretz Yisrael
Noa Avron Barak

3 Taming the Levant: Reflections on Zionism, Orientalism, and Depictions of Tel-Aviv-Jaffa in Israeli and International Comics
Ofer Berenstein

Part 2: Consuming Images: Israel in America

4 Fractured Communities, Anxious Identities: Reconsidering Israel on the American Stage
Ellen W. Kaplan

5 The Sabra within the Schlemiel: Diverging Modes of American Jewish and Israeli Masculinity in Jewish American Literature
Samantha Pickette

6 Messianic Affinities: Tali Keren’s The Great Seal and Un-Charting
Chelsea Haines

7 The Short Life of the Israeli Superspy: Imagining Israel in Twentieth-Century American Crime Fiction
Reeva Spector Simon

8 Israel through the Viewfinder: Claude Lanzmann and Susan Sontag Film the Jewish State
Rocco Giansante

Part 3: Within, Without: Becoming Glocal

9 Tarnishing History through Matter: Gal Weinstein’s Sun Stand Still at the Israeli Pavilion in Venice
Luna Goldberg

10 Contemporizing Yemenite Ethnicity: Hybrid Folklore in Mor Shani’s “Three Suggestions for Dealing with Time” Dance Trilogy for Inbal Dance Theater
Idit Suslik

11 A Rough, Country Face: An Iranian Intellectual Retells the Holocaust
Samuel Thrope

12 Imagined Israel? Israel in Contemporary British Theater
Glenda Abramson

Part 4: Realizing Visions: Israel Reimagined

13 Resemblance, Difference, and Simulacrum in Israeli and Palestinian Art
Keren Goldberg

14 Playing Soldiers: Reimagining the Israeli Defense Forces on the Fringe Stage
Jacob Hellman

15 Disrupting Holy Binaries: The Work of Gil and Rona Yefman
Yarden Stern

The volume is for scholars and students of Israel Studies/Middle Eastern Studies/Transnational and Global Studies/Arts/Jewish Studies, readers interested in the relation between Israel and the Jewish Diaspora, and art practitioners.
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