SST 246  Zionism and its Discontents

Joel Kovel

M . W . .

3:00- 4:20 pm

OLIN 202


A course on the Israel/Palestine conflict from the perspective of the critique of Zionism as developed in the instructor’s 2007 work, Overcoming Zionism. Themes will include the history and internal logic of Zionism in relation to the situation of Jews and their identity; the relation of the state of Israel to great power imperialism, especially that of the United States, with special attention to the so-called “Israel Lobby”; questions of ethnic cleansing of the indigenous Palestinian people and the comparison between Zionist Israel and Apartheid South Africa; interconnections between anti-semitism, the Holocaust and the formation of Israel; and a critical survey of various strategies of resolution of this seemingly intractable conflict, viz., the “Two-State” vs “One State” positions in their various versions. Principle texts: Lacqueur, A History of Zionism; Morris, Righteous Victims; Pappe, The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine; Kovel, Overcoming Zionism; Walt and Mearsheimer, The Israel Lobby. The highly controversial character of this subject requires special consideration so that the class will be open to a full airing of competitive views. One way of dealing with this is to have one class a week given over to the reading of assigned texts, the other, to open discussion of current issues, with students playing an active role, and engaging in critical readings of alternative views, along with a study of the way the mainstream media treats the various themes. A variety of additional speakers may be brought in.



SST 332   The Ecological Crisis

Joel Kovel

M . . . .

9:30- 11:50 am

OLIN 205


Cross-listed:  Environmental Studies, Human Rights, STS  The course surveys the ecological crisis in all its dimensions: biological, political, economic, technological, scientific, cultural, psychological, ethical, philosophical, and spiritual. Does it have an “efficient cause,” a main dynamism that can be isolated and overcome? The dominant system of production, capitalism, is investigated in this light. Finally, the course considers the overriding questions, What is to be done? What social, technological, psychological, and spiritual changes are necessary to overcome the crisis; how do existing ecological movements measure up against these goals?