History, Politics, and Society in Israel
- Gain an in-depth perspective of Israel’s complex politics and society through site visits, interacting with locals, and listening to expert guest speakers.
- Explore the beautiful and historical cities in Israel and visit some of the world’s most famous sites like The Old City of Jerusalem, the Gates of Jaffa, Sea of Galilee and the hanging gardens of Haifa.
- Conduct your own research on significant topics focusing on Israel while gaining new research skills.
The Israel Studies’ new summer program is a two to three-week experience that focuses on Israel’s history, politics, and society. Through intense academic exploration, co-curricular activities, and excursions, participants will investigate modern Israel from a comparative perspective. This program will present Israel’s multicultural present while providing a global perspective on the Middle-East, as well as Jewish life, and Jewish-Arab relations. Explore the cultural richness, history, and beauty of Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Haifa Nazareth and Kinneret. This traveling and research program will allow students to gain an entirely new and in-depth understanding of Israel and the Middle East with KU professor Rami Zeedan.
The two-week travel program will start with students flying into Tel Aviv and immediately venturing to explore the epicenter of three major religions, Jerusalem. After spending two days exploring Jerusalem, students will then travel to Tel Aviv to see immerse themselves in the cosmopolitan and eclectic city. After a few days in Tel Aviv, students will then travel North to Haifa stopping at interesting place along the way. In Haifa, you will visit the Bahá’í Gardens and the German colony. You will also visit Daliya al Karmel and the Druze religious site. Students will also visit the city of Nazareth and Basilica of the Annunciation. Students staying on for the second portion of the 3 week program will spend a few more days in Haifa and then travel to the sea of Galilee and the Kinneret area. Students will then have the opportunity to take part in the AIS conference and complete their individual fieldwork.
The dates of the program are June 9th- June 27th for both programs or June 9th- June 21st for the first program only.
Modern Israel: History, Politics, and Society in Contexts (3 academic credit hours) The course examines the development of Israeli society and politics from 1948 until today. We will discuss many aspects regarding the evolution of modern Israel. Topics will include: mass immigration; relations between Arabs and Jews, between Mizrahi and Ashkenazi Jews, and between secular and religious communities; relations between Israel and diaspora Jewish communities; government and political parties; the role of the army in the Israeli society; wars vs peace talks; the Israeli economy; technology and the “start-up nation.” The course examines political issues in dispute, such as the settlements in the West-Bank, relations with Arab countries, and the peace process with the Palestinians. The course will conclude with a discussion of current issues in Israel, which by nature will be different from year to year. Co-curricular events and excursions, as well as local visiting speakers, will complement the academic program and introduce many of the social cleavages of Israel including Jews, Christians, Muslims, and Druze. Excursions will be in many Israeli cities/towns, such as Haifa, Jerusalem, Nazareth, Tel-Aviv-Jaffa, Daliyat al-Karmel, and Isfiya.
Applied Research Methods in Israel Studies: Field Research towards undergraduate research paper or graduate thesis research (3 academic credit hours) The course will provide students on state of the art approaches and methods of social sciences and humanities in research in the field of Israel Studies from various disciplinary perspectives. Students will be introduced to different topics, sites, and sources that can be subject to their field research such as archives, libraries, and galleries. Students will learn the methods and experience them on the field through assignments. Students will have the time to start conducting their own field research while having the ability to discuss on-site difficulties with the instructor. Such field research may be conducted towards undergraduate research paper or a graduate thesis research. Every other year, students will have the opportunity to participate in the AIS annual conference (the Association for Israel Studies conference gathers 300-400 scholars each year) as part of the program.
Students will be housed in Hotels in close proximity to local attractions in each city. Students can expect to room with 1 or 2 other students.
Along with the planned itinerary and site visits, students will also have two free days to explore sites of their interest that can include Masada, the Dead Sea, and Ein Geidi to name a few.
The program is open to all KU students (and also for non-KU students) both undergraduates and graduates. Summer Study Abroad in Israel may be of particular interest to those studying politics, history, international relations, sociology, anthropology, religion, Middle-Eastern studies, Islamic studies, Arabic, and Hebrew.
Dr. Rami Zeedan is a political scientist and historian of modern Israel. Born in Daliat al-Carmel, he holds a PhD (2013) in Israel Studies from the University of Haifa, in cooperation with the Political Science Department there. His research looks at the history of modern Israel, Israeli politics, Middle-Eastern politics, ethnic politics, urban affairs and local governments, and public opinion.