Fall Semester Weekly Discussion Series: DiametricaLand—The Enigma of Modern Israel
* NOTE: Enrollment for the fall 2014 series is closed.
The Liechtenstein Institute on Self-Determination at Princeton University (LISD) will host two discussion series, one in each semester of the 2014-2015 academic year, on modern Israel in international and comparative perspectives. Participants will convene weekly, on Tuesdays from 6:00-7:30 pm in 012 Bendheim Hall, to engage in stimulating and open discussions. Professor Uriel Abulof, LISD Senior Research Fellow and AICE Visiting Research Scholar in Israel Studies, will lead the discussions.
Fall 2014: DiametricaLand—The Enigma of Modern Israel
The idea and reality of Israel elicit passions and persuasions like few other countries. The reasons are well known: the emergence of Zionism, the Arab-Israeli conflict, strategic location, paramount religious sites, the history of the Jewish and the Palestinian peoples, the danger of nuclear escalation, technological innovation—for many, such perils and promises render this small spot, Jerusalem at its heart, “the center of the world.” British premier Benjamin Disraeli once went so far as to profess that “the view of Jerusalem is the history of the world; it is more, it is the history of earth and of heaven.” In our Fall 2014 seminar, we will not subscribe to this claim, but will try to examine key tensions in our contemporary world through the fascinating lens of modern Israel: Modernity and tradition, the sacred and the secular, zeal and rationality, liberty and submission, capitalism and socialism, evolution and revolution, war and peace, militarism and pacifism, utopia and dystopia, blood and land, nationalism and cosmopolitanism, homeland and diaspora. We will discuss these twelve diametric ideas and practices through various sources—academic, literary and cinematic—probing how they have shaped modern life, in and beyond Israel.