12027 Israeli Theater: Processes of Democratization in Israeli Society 1

Credits: 3 graduate credits in Democracy Studies / Communication and Culture

Prerequisites: Democracy: An Interdisciplinary Approach, Israeli Democracy: Selected Issues, Contemporary Democratic Theories; one of the following: Democracy and Democratization, Selected Problems in the History of Western Democracies, Education Policy: Education for Democracy in Democratic Societies, Democracy and Mass Communication,2 Selected Topics in Public Administration (or Public Policy: Theory to Practice); and exemption from bibliographic assignments on computer searches in the “Alef” catalog and databases.

Recommended: Experiencing Theater: Introduction to Drama and the Theater

Author: Dan Urian

The Israeli theatrical repertoire (including, among others, mainstream and “fringe” theater, Hebrew- and Arabic-speaking theater) teaches about processes of democratization that have taken place in Israeli culture since the Yishuv period and up to the 21st century. The repertoire reflects changes in the arts and in the media as they represent the various groups that comprise Israeli society.

The course introduces the student to written texts and parts of plays in which playwrights and their audiences deal with the “other,” especially with “Mizrachim,” Arab-Israelis, and the religious. It illustrates, through plays, the three major rifts in Israeli society and the changes that have taken place in the relations between the groups in the last hundred years. Special emphasis is on changes which seem (at least on stage) to be processes of democratization, and which reflect changes in the position of these groups on the political and social scenes.

Topics: Social aspects of theatrical texts – the Israeli theater context: methodological issues; Mizrachi Jews in Israeli theater; Arabs in Israeli theater; Secular and religious Jews in Israeli theater.

1Students may write a seminar paper in this course, although it is not required.

2or Liberalism: Texts, Contexts, Critiques (12005), for students who took it as a required course in the Culture specialization before Spring 2010.