Trauma Culture and Politics: The Israel and Palestine Conflict in Perspective
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Division: University-wide Programs
Department: Global Studies
Course Number: UGLB 3329
Course Format: Lecture
Location: NYC campus
Permission Required: No
- Global Studies
- Social Sciences
This course examines how the psychic and political lives of individuals and communities are intimately connected. Using the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as our major case study, this course examines the connections and often hidden relationship between history and psychosocial functioning. Historical traumas like war, slavery, natural disaster, genocide, and mass atrocity impair the ability of families and institutions to support individual development both physically and psychically. As a result, individuals and communities that have suffered severe psychological damage from historical traumas are compromised in their political and social functioning, often unable to integrate and metabolize the original mass trauma. We draw on historical accounts of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict from both side's narratives to deconstruct the inner psychic structures of the conflict. Through readings, lectures, cinema and live simulation exercises we will explore the following topics: the impact of trauma on individuals and societies, the impact of the Israeli occupation upon the Palestinian psyche, the Holocaust and the impact of continuous war on Israelis and the interplay between mass trauma and political conflict. Our inquiry incorporates materials from clinical work, history, human security and conflict resolution. Every student will be expected to write a research paper and will be asked to be part of a group simulation experience around some aspect of the conflict. There will be also be a midterm assignment, either an exam or written exercise.
Open to Undergraduate students.