Guest Chair for Israel and Near Eastern Studies
The “Ben Gurion Guest Chair for Israel and Near Eastern Studies” has been established at the Universität Heidelberg and the Hochschule für Jüdische Studien Heidelberg (HfJS). The visiting professorship is funded by the state of Baden-Württemberg and is the only one of its kind in German-speaking countries. For the academic year 2009/2010 its incumbent will be the historian Prof. Dr. Rakefet Zalashik of New York University (USA). In the winter term Professor Zalashik will be offering classes for students at both institutions and concentrating on such topics as immigration and society in Israel, the Israeli state past and present and the perception of the Shoah in texts and films.
The “Ben Gurion Guest Chair” is a bipartite professorship shared between the Universität Heidelberg (notably the Department of History and the Centre for European History and Cultural Studies) and the Hochschule für Jüdische Studien Heidelberg. It was established on the initiative of the Minister-President of Baden-Württemberg, Günther H. Oettinger. In the next five years renowned academic personalities will be appointed to hold the chair for a period of one year each. The offerings on present-day society, culture and politics in Israel and the Near East are angled at students of the HfJS and various faculties of the university. The budget of the chair encompasses resources for visiting lectures and colloquia.
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