Academic year
2019/2020 Syllabus of previous years
Official course title
Course code
LT0615 (AF:272251 AR:158382)
On campus classes
ECTS credits
Degree level
Bachelor's Degree Programme
Educational sector code
2nd Semester
Course year
The course is part of the second year curiculum "Near and Middle East" of the degree course in "Languages, cultures and societies of Asia and Mediterranean Africa". The course contributes to the achievement of the CdS training objectives in the area of historical, critical, cultural and humanistic competences. The main objectives of the course are to acquire a critical knowledge of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and its narratives; to acquire the tools to analyze and deconstruct the historical-political and propaganda narratives, with particular reference to 1947-49, date of the establishment of the State of Israel and of the Palestinian Nakba. The objective will be met by analyzing the conceptual node 1947-49 from different points of view and through different disciplinary methods (history, international relations, international law, studies on memory, studies on the diaspora, cinema and literature).
Knowledge and understanding:
- Learn and understand the main characters and historical events in the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, with special reference to its founding moment, 1947-49.
- Learn and understand concepts and instruments of historiography and critical studies about his period.
- Deepen the understand of this historical period through films and documentaries.

Applying knowledge and understanding
-learn how to analyse and interpret some relevant historical sources
- understand the difference between primary and secondary sources and learn how to use them;
- learn how to uses historiography critically in some of its main concepts (narration, normativity, canon)

Making judgements:
- learn how to make critical judgements on historical, political and social phenomena pertaining to the history of the israeli-palestinian conflict, making use of critically and historiographically solid arguments
- learn how to examine critically various types of sources (primary, secondary, photographic video, documentaries, films etc.)
- become aware of one's own inevitable bias and overcome it

- learn how to express and re-elaborate the contents of the program in written form, in a concise and effective way.

Lifelong learning skills :
- learn how ot integrate critically the study of different materials (notes, slides, texts, creative works, academic articles)
- be able to study autonomously materials and subjects which have not been covered in class
- improve ability to learn materials in English
- improve ability to use online learning tools
- be able to participated in an informed way to a scientific discussion on the subject among peers.
good knowledge of English
Class 1

Intro: How this course works
- 29 November 1947 - partition; The War of 1948; military dynamics; the D plan; Palestinian refugees and IDPs; Jerusalem; Jaffa-Tel Aviv.

Class 2+3
1948 and memory
- collective memory, traumatic memory; memories and national celebrations, memory activism.

Class 4+5
Narratives del 1948
- Historiography; new historians; Morris/Pappe; The other refugees: Jews from the Old city of Jerusalem and jews from Arab countries; Properties and lands; Testimonies.

Class 6+7
1948 and civil society
- What is civil society; deconstruction of the conflict; conflicting historical narratives; the history of the Other; 8 projects.

Class 8+9
1948 in Israeli literature
- From Land to State; the Shoah, 1948 and the birth of Israeli literature; between triumphalism and self-analysis: M. Shamir; S. Yizhar; Alterman; The literary legacies of 1948: Y. Kaniuk; A.B. Yehoshua; A. Oz; Sh. Hareven; Mizrahim, Palestinian israelis and 1948: Ballas, Matalon, ‘Arabesqot by A. Shammas.

Class 10+11
1948 seen by the others
Italy and Israel; Germany and Israel; India, Israele and the Palestinians; Cina and Israel (1949)

Class 12+13
1948 and transitional justice
- What is transitional justice; The israeli-Palestinian case; Zochrot and the Commissions Truth and Justice in a non-State context; Baladna and Palestinian memory activism.

Class 14+15
1948 and cinema. Questions of representation
- The political role of “Exodus”; Nakba and Diaspora in Palestinian cinema; The War of Independence in Israeli cinema; 1948 in some recent films.
an updated and complete bibliography for the course will be made available online and distributed on the first day of class
Each week students will be given 20-40 pages in orde to prepare for the upcoming class. The reading of this material is mandatory and is part of the requirements of this course. The following list of reading is exemplary and might change in some of its parts.

Texts for the exam: Weekly readings and Avi Shlaim, Eugene Rogan (a cura di), La guerra per la Palestina. Riscrivere la storia del 1948, Il Ponte Editrice, Bologna, 1 ed. 2004. (later reprints in Italian or in English are also accepted). Films seen in class represent compulsory material for the exam.

Class 2+3
- Laleh Khalili, Heroes and Martyrs of Palestine. The politics of National Commemoration, Cambridge University Press, 2007, chapter 4
- Ohana D., Kfar Etzion: Community of Memory and the Myth of Return, “Israel Studies” 7 (2), 2002: 145-174.
- Ben-Ze’ev Efrat, The Palestinian village of Ijzim during the 1948 war: Forming anthropological history though villagers accounts and army documents, “History and anthropology”, 13 (1), 2002: 13-30

Class 4+5
- Avi Shlaim, Eugene Rogan, “Introduzione,” in Id. (eds.) La guerra per la Palestina. Riscrivere la storia del 1948, Il Ponte Editrice, Bologna, 2004: 17-30.
- Benny Morris, “L’esodo palestinese del 1948” in Avi Shlaim, Eugene Rogan (eds.) La guerra per la Palestina. Riscrivere la storia del 1948, Il Ponte Editrice, Bologna, 2004: ch. 2 (61-90)
- Alon Confino, Miracles and Snow in Palestine and Israel: Tantura, a History of 1948, «Israel Studies», 17/2, 2012, pp. 25-61
- Marcella Simoni, Tra famiglia, patriarcato e nazionalismo. Percorsi di rifugiate palestinesi e donne ebree dai paesi arabi (1948-1958), “Genesis”, 3 (2), 2004: 1-25

Class 6+7
- Sami Adwan, Dan Bar On, Learning Each Other’s Historical narrative: Palestinians and Israelis, 2003: Introduction + pp. 20-36
- Nets-Zehngut R., Palestinians and Israelis Collaborate in Addressing the Historical Narratives of their Conflict, in «Quest. Issues in Contemporary Jewish History», 5, 2013. http://www.quest-cdecjournal.it/focus.php?id=334
- Rotberg R.I., Israeli and Palestinian narratives of conflict, Indiana University Press, ch. 4 (pp. 72-105).

Class 8+9
- Gil Hochberg, A Poetics of Haunting: From Yizhar’s Hirbeh to Yehoshua’s Ruins to Koren’s Crypts, «Jewish Social Studies», 2/3 (2012): 55-69.
- Avner Holtzman, Political Aspects of the Literature of the Israeli War of Independence, «Journal of Israeli History», 31/2 (2012): 191-215.
- Isabella Camera D’Afflitto, Cento anni di cultura palestinese, Carocci, Roma 2002, pp. 67-93
- Lital Levy Nation, Village, Cave: A Spatial Reading of 1948 in Three Novels of Anton Shammas, Emile Habiby, and Elias Khoury, «Jewish Social Studies» 18/ 3, History and Responsibility: Hebrew Literature Facing 1948 (2012), pp. 10-26

Class 10-11
- Greenberg J.D., Generations of Memory. Remembering partition in India/Pakistan and Israel/Palestine, “Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East”, 25 (1), 2005: 89-110

Class 12-13
- Tom Hill, 1948 after Oslo: Truth and reconciliation in Palestinian Discourse, «Mediterranean Politics» 13/2: 151-70.
- Shah M., Bronstein E., Musih N., “A Different Kind of Memory”: An Interview with Zochrot,«Middle East Research and Information Project (MERIP)», 244, 2007: 34-38.
- Yifat Gutman, Memory Activism. Reimagining the Future in Israel-Palestine, Vanderbilt University Press, Nashville, 2017, ch. 3

Class 14-15
- Laure Fourest, Un cinéma palestinien «en mal d’archive » The “Archive Fever” of Palestinian Cinema, «Ateliers d’Anthropologie», 36 (2012),
students who attend the course (more than 60 % of classes attended)
- 30 % presence and participation in class
- 70 % written exams: pls reply to three essay questions in three hrs on the subject matter of this course

Students who cannot attend the course in person are required to enroll in the free MOOC online course "Nonviolence and Civil Resistance in israel and Palestine" available together with other online MOOCs
They can then take the written exam like students who attended the course, i.e. 3 essay questions in 3 hours about the subject matter of the MOOC

each essay question receives a score on the basis of 30/30. The final grade results from the the calculation of the average of these three questions. All essay questions will evaluate to what extent students have acquired historical knowledge, are able to understand and contextualise historical and literary texts, how they are able to handle the means for critical analysis and their ability to learn autonomously. The essay questions wil also evaluate the students' ability to apply their newly acquired knowledge to the subject matter of the course, their independence in formulating historical analysis and judgements, and their capacity to express themselves in a concise and effective manner.
frontal lecture, video materials, discussion in class
some classes may be delivered in English by guests from foreign universities

This subject deals with topics related to the macro-area "International cooperation" and contributes to the achievement of one or more goals of U. N. Agenda for Sustainable Development

Definitive programme.
Last update of the programme: 26/08/2019