Orientalism, Zionism and Academic Practice : Middle East and Islam Studies in Israeli Universities book cover
1st Edition

Orientalism, Zionism and Academic Practice
Middle East and Islam Studies in Israeli Universities

ISBN 9780367582852
Published June 30, 2020 by Routledge
268 Pages

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Book Description

Orientalism, Zionism and Academic Practice explores the field of Israeli Middle East and Islamic Studies (MEIS) sociologically and politically, as a window onto the relationship between Orientalism, Zionism and academia. The book draws special attention to neoliberal discourse and praxis in everyday higher education, the interests of scholars, and the political form that commercialisation takes in specific disciplinary and geopolitical conditions by deconstructing structural and historical presuppositions and effective ideologies that overdetermine this junction of academia, orientalism and Zionism. 

The multi-layered study draws on various scholarly traditions and offers new evidence for, and insights in, historical and cultural-discursive discussions. It highlights paradigmatic gaps in reading Saidian orientalism, re-evaluates the origins and evolution of the local field, contributes to the study of everyday academic culture in the social sciences and humanities (SSH), and unveils the presupposed and the unsaid of the general and the specific field, exploring the intersection of an orientalist expertise, in a settler-colonial society, and everyday academic capitalism. 

The expertise of this sociological and discursive study make it an invaluable resource for academics and students interested in Israel and Middle East studies, Higher Education and the Sociology of Academia.

Table of Contents

Introduction  Part 1: Historicism  1. Genealogies  2. New Hegemonies  Part 2: Anti-crisis  3. Disciplining Saidism  4. Anti-crisis  Part 3: Discourse and Ideology  Can society speak?  5. Interest  6. Marketing  7. Mission  8. The nonacademic  Conclusion

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Eyal Clyne is a transdisciplinary discourse and ideology analyst, studying higher education and Israeli discourse and praxis. He holds a PhD from the University of Manchester, an MA in sociology and anthropology from Tel Aviv University, and a double major BA in Middle East and Islam studies and communications and media from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Eyal has taught sociology, anthropology, culture, politics, discourse and language in the University of Manchester, Manchester Metropolitan University, Tel Aviv University and Tel Aviv Yafo Academic College.


This book offers a nuanced and detailed reading of the imbrication of contemporary Israeli Middle Eastern Studies, as a window of Israeli society generally, within the current nationalist project. Through outstanding and meticulous analysis of original, fascinating fieldwork, the author demonstrates how global pressures affecting higher education operate in this very particular context to maintain and reproduce, as well as in some cases mitigate, broader dynamics of marginalisation of Arabs and Palestinians in Israeli society today. A must for all social scientists interested in higher education studies, and nation/citizenship studies. - Erica Burman, The Discourse Unit and Manchester Institute of Education, University of Manchester.

This is a brilliant sociology-of-knowledge study of the embeddedness of the academic field of Middle East and Islamic Studies in Israeli academia within its broader Jewish-Israeli Zionist political culture. It provides innovative and insightful analysis of knowledge-production, networks, interests, and the history of the field. - Uri Ram, former President of the Israeli Sociological Association.