Emergent Genres and Forms: Israel, Palestine, and the Middle East after the Second Intifada (ACLA 2020)
Rebecca L. Stein and Ted Swedenburg have argued that the Second Palestinian Intifada has changed the ways in which Israel and Palestine have been represented and circulated in popular culture from the region but also internationally (2005: 13-14). Indeed, Palestine and Israel are not only the subject of work produced in the Middle East but also increasingly feature in cultural products from outside the region. For example, there has been a surge in graphic novels depicting the Israeli-Palestinian conflict but also a rise in children’s literature and young adult fiction as well as memoirs, documentaries, and feature films.
This seminar examines the types of genres and forms that have emerged after the Second Intifada to depict and engage with Israel, Palestine, but also the Middle East more widely. It traces how aesthetic and formal strategies are used to represent this geopolitical context to regional and international audiences since the early 2000s. It asks how cultural texts use and challenge narrative and formal conventions in order to offer alternatives to mainstream historical, political, and cultural discourses. As such, this seminar addresses how genre and form work to illuminate and redescribe conflict in the context of Israel and Palestine but also how depicting conflict impacts aesthetic and formal strategies of representation more widely.
Papers might focus on, but are not limited to, the following questions:
- How do authors and artists represent Israel, Palestine, and the Middle East?
- How do they make this geopolitical region accessible to their audiences?
- To what extent do they experiment with form and genre or use metafictional devices?
- Do these texts offer an alternative to mainstream discourses and established contextual frameworks, and if so, how do they do this on a narrative and/or formal level?
- How does inscribing conflict manifest itself on an aesthetic and formal level?