2015 - 2016

  Modernhebrew Love Poetry                                                                             
Dana OlmertGilman-humanities457Tue1200-1600 Sem  1
University credit hours:  4.0

Course description
Modern Hebrew revival [“Techiya”] emerged against the background of a cultural-erotic revolution in the Jewish world, which created the conditions for the formation of a modern poetic erotic discourse. This discourse also grew out of the encounter of the various poets with the social, ideological, and aesthetic values of contemporary European culture, and with this culture's conceptions regarding subjectivity and passion. For the first time in the history of Hebrew poetry, both men and women poets were required to form an intimate and erotic poetic "I" that would be psychologically credible and present a distinct selfhood.
The course will address the love poetry of H.N. Bialik, Shaul Tchernichovsky, Jacob Steinberg, Rachel Bluwstein, Esther Raab, Natan Alterman, and Leah Goldberg, seeking to illuminate their attitudes toward the power relations between the sexes, while considering the changing norms in Jewish society regarding love, intimacy, and passion. In the first part of the course we will introduce the great traditional models for Hebrew love poetry – the Song of Songs and the Hebrew erotic poetry of medieval Spain. The principal part of the course will be devoted to readings of Modern Hebrew love poems. The discussion will also examine the influence of the entry of women into the field of Hebrew lyrical poetry on conceptions of love and passion, and will consider the differences in the expression of passion and power among various groups and generations. The theoretical discussion will be based on contemporary psychoanalytical, feminist, and gender perspectives.

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