Fictions of Gender: Women, Femininity, and the Zionist Imagination (McGill-Queen’s Azrieli Institute of Israel Studies #1) (Hardcover)

Fictions of Gender: Women, Femininity, and the Zionist Imagination (McGill-Queen’s Azrieli Institute of Israel Studies #1) By Orian Zakai Cover Image


In the wake of the #MeToo movement, gender scholars and activists have asked whether a reconcilliation between Zionism and feminism is possible in the current political landscape. Fictions of Gender explores the contemporary controversies surrounding both Zionism and feminism, and how they are prefigured in the experiences and legacies of early Zionist women.Drawing on extensive archival research and the rarely studied corpus of published and unpublished creative, biographic, and essayistic writings by Zionist women throughout the intense first eighty years of the Zionist project (1880s–1950s), Orian Zakai situates Zionist women within the larger histories of colonization and the politics of ethnicity in Israel/Palestine. At the core of this study lie contemporary debates about the relationship between feminism, nationalism, and colonialism. Shifting long-standing paradigms in the scholarship on modern Hebrew literature and culture, Zakai confronts the study of gender and Zionism with the critical sensibilities of contemporary global feminism. Read both critically and compassionately, the writings of women authors and activists not only reveal lives full of contradictions but also point to cultural structures that shape the politics of Israel/Palestine to this very day.Fictions of Gender rethinks Israeli feminism through the lens of contemporary feminism, intersectionality, and post-colonialism.

About the Author

Orian Zakai is assistant professor of Hebrew/Israeli literature and culture at George Washington University.

Praise For…

“Asking highly original and challenging questions, Zakai demonstrates the very possibility of writing cultural history through the experience of women and the construction of national femininity within other categories of identity and apparatuses of power. Focusing on the ways women writers approach gender through a practice of ethical reading, the literary female subject emerges as an engaged politico-national agent, actively negotiating power and inventing options of struggle, control, and resistance.” Ruth Tsoffar, University of Michigan and author of The Stains of Culture: An Ethno-Reading of Karaite Jewish Women

Product Details
ISBN: 9780228017059
ISBN-10: 022801705X
Publisher: McGill-Queen's University Press
Publication Date: June 15th, 2023
Pages: 208
Language: English
Series: McGill-Queen’s Azrieli Institute of Israel Studies