Examines representations of sexual violence in modern Hebrew literature, focusing on the ways in which sexual aggression relates to Zionism, gender, ethnicity, and disability.
Flesh of My Flesh looks at one of the most silenced and repressed aspects of Israeli culture by examining the trope of sexual violence in modern Hebrew literature. Ilana Szobel explores how sexual violence participates in, encourages, or resists concurrent ideologies in Jewish and Israeli culture, and situates the rhetoric of sexual aggression within the contexts of gender, ethnicity, disability, and national identity. Focusing on writings of incest survivors, Sepharadi authors, wounded soldiers, and Hebrew authors such as Shoshana Shababo, Gershon Shofman, Hayim Nahman Bialik, Yoram Kaniuk, Amalia Kahana-Carmon, and Tsvia Litevsky, Szobel unveils the various roles of sexual violence in destabilizing hegemonic notions or reinforcing norms and modes of conduct. Thus, while the book looks at poetic and social possibilities of action in relation to sexual violence, it also exposes the Gordian knot of sexualized gender-based violence and the interests of patriarchy, heteronormativity, nationalism, racism, and ableism.
Ilana Szobel is Associate Professor of Modern Hebrew Literature on the Joseph H. and Belle R. Braun Chair in the Department of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies and core faculty in the Department of Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Brandeis University. She is the author of A Poetics of Trauma: The Work of Dahlia Ravikovitch.