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Teaching Israel at American Universities: Growth, Placement, and Future Prospects
Abstract

Abstract:

The teaching of Israel at American universities has grown dramatically in recent years and has become "normalized" in the curriculum. A census was conducted at 316 schools to assess 2011-2012 course offerings related to Israel in order to analyze growth over time, characteristics of courses, and institutional characteristics that contribute to growth. Results indicate a small increase in Israel-focused courses between 2008-09 and 2011-12, following a two-thirds increase from 2005-06 to 2008-09. Courses were offered under a variety of disciplinary auspices including Jewish studies, political science, history, Hebrew, and other fields. The number of courses offered remained strong particularly at more prestigious schools with large Jewish populations. External support from programs that place or train qualified faculty yield more courses about Israel at their respective institutions, but the effect cannot persist without the continued presence of those faculty. A key focus of further research is to understand the impact of Israel courses on students and discourse about Israel.



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