2020-2021 Catalog 
    Oct 24, 2021  
2020-2021 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

CMLT 499 C - Refiguring the Divide: The Arab Jew in Literature and Film

The Tunisian-born author Albert Memmi sparked a heated debate with his 1975 essay “Who is an Arab Jew?” Activists and scholars alike have revisited Memmi’s postulation, “We would have liked to be Arab Jews…It is now too late for us to be Arab Jews.” Somewhere between the nostalgic reverie of “we would have liked” and the swan song of “it is now too late,” there exists a vast range of responses to the controversial designation “Arab Jew.” Though used historically by a select group of Jewish intellectuals in 19th century Cairo, Baghdad, and Beirut, the term “Arab Jew,” as it is used today, surfaced in the 1970s as a critical intervention into discourses that posit Arab and Jewish as two mutually exclusive and antagonistic terms of identification. This course will examine literary and cinematic attitudes toward the designation “Arab Jew” with its attendant notions of nostalgia, trauma, exile, and political agency. We will also explore the political ramifications of the term when it is used by governments or heads of state, to gesture at new possibilities for community and minority rights. (Group III) (Diversity, Writing Option)