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New Course in Comp Lit

The Jewish-Arab Relationship as Imagined in Contemporary Literature

Professor Gil Hochberg joined the UCLA Comparative Literature Department in Fall 2002 after completing her PhD at UC Berkeley with a specialization in French North African, Arabic and Hebrew literatures. "Coming to LA after Berkeley was a shock at first," she says. "It was overwhelming, but I’m beginning to like it — and I love UCLA."

This Fall, in addition to a course on methodology, Hochberg is offering an undergraduate seminar on The Arab-Jewish Relationship as Imagined in Contemporary Literature. Considering the common image of "the Arab" and "the Jew" as antagonistic figures with conflicting political interests, she notes that "we forget that the recent national conflict between these two peoples is a new historical development that must be studied in the broader historical context of colonialism, imperialism and anti-Semitism."

The course explores representations of Arabs, Jews and Arab-Jews and their relationships in various texts, including Israeli and Palestinian films. "It’s a lovely course," says Hochberg. "The students are very curious, very involved and politically active."

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