Narratives in Scholarship and Beyond
The academic study of Israel emerged as a discrete field in the 1980’s. Like other area studies, it was motivated by an effort to find a usable past. Since then, our understanding of the nation’s history has passed through several stages, as in-house accounts that paralleled Zionist ideology gave way to post-Zionist critiques. These were followed by studies of social and cultural history. The latter’s tendency to focus on victimhood both of the population and of scholars ultimately threatened the integrity of field itself.
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