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.
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
Introduction 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.