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Jews and Muslims, Victims and Vengeance:
Masculinities and the Fluid Boundaries of Contemporary Anti-Semitism
Elisabeth J. Berman


This paper aims to disentangle the racialized stereotypes of Jewish/Israeli and Muslim/Arab men constructed by hegemonic "Western" discourses, and by one another. It interrogates the struggle over a "Western" construct of masculinity that plays out in discourses around the contemporary Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

How has the Zionist project – from its colonial roots to its post-9/11 and post-2014 securitization – defined Jewish and Muslim masculinities? How do national struggles and racisms in Israel/Palestine bleed out into a global arena in which white supremacist, heterosexist values continually aim to alienate the "Other?" How does Germany, as both a site of commemoration and a biopolitical, exclusionary state, negotiate anti-Semitism and Islamophobia?

Where is masculinity situated within the triangulated relation between the constructed identities of Arab/Muslim, Israeli/Jewish, and European/secular? What are the dialectics between oppressed and oppressor in the struggle over certain masculinities? Can foregrounding the gendered constructions of the “Semitic” “Other” transform solidarity among oppressed religious-ethnic groups?

This paper takes as its “case study” two films, Munich (2006) and Valley of the Wolves: Palestine (2011), which construct Jewish and Muslim masculinity according to claims over expiatory violence, nationhood, and the nuclear family. In reading these films I examine the gendered politics of victimhood.


Zur Person

Elizabeth J. Berman. I am pursuing a Master’s degree in Transdisciplinary Gender Studies at the Humboldt-Universität Berlin, where I was also a Fulbright student researcher in 2017-2018. I hold a Bachelor’s degree from Brown University in German Studies and the History of Art and Architecture. My scholarly focuses include queer theory, religious studies, racism and globalization, film theory, and death studies.


Panel 15: Normalitätskonstruktionen und Männlichkeit

Zeit: Freitag, 08. November 2019, 11:00-12:30 Uhr
Raum: Seminarraum 2, Universitätsstraße 15, 1. Stock WEST


Veranstaltet von der Österreichischen Gesellschaft für Geschlechterforschung und der FP Center Interdisziplinäre Geschlechterforschung Innsbruck (CGI) in Kooperation mit dem Büro für Gleichstellung und Gender Studies der Universität Innsbruck.





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