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Hebrew Poetry of Life & Love: Rachel Bluwstein, Leah Goldberg and Naomi Shemer

Webinar Recording

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On February 10, Dr. Nili Alon Amit, a Visiting Scholar at the UCLA Y&S Nazarian Center for Israel Studies, discussed the works of several important Israeli poetesses Rachel Bluwstein and Leah Goldberg, and beloved songwriter Naomi Shemer, and relate them to world philosophy and literature of happiness. Dr. Ethan Pack, who teaches a UCLA course on Israeli literature sponsored by the Nazarian Center, served as moderator.

About the Talk

This lecture by Nili Alon Amit focused on two prominent poetesses of the Israeli pre-state and early-state periods – Rachel Bluwstein (1890–1931) and Leah Goldberg (1911-1970) – and on the celebrated songwriter, composer and singer Naomi Shemer (1930-2004). The talk explored the place of early Israeli poetry in the development of modern Western thought on well-being, life and love. 

In the presentation, Dr. Alon Amit related the work of these Hebrew poets to broader themes in world philosophy and literature of happiness. Also, she discussed excerpts from her new book, On Happy Souls: The History of Happiness in Western Culture (forthcoming, Cambridge Scholars, 2021), and her original translations to English of Rachel's Hebrew poetry.

Sponsored by the UCLA Y&S Nazarian Center for Israel Studies. Co-sponsored by the Department of Comparative Literature, Department of Near Eastern Languages & Cultures, the Center for Near Eastern Studies, and the Alan D. Leve Center for Jewish Studies.


About the Speaker

Dr. Nili Alon Amit is a researcher and lecturer of philosophy of soul and philosophy of education at Hakibbutzim Academic College in Tel Aviv, Israel. During the 2020-21 academic year, Alon Amit is a Visiting Scholar at the UCLA Y&S Nazarian Center for Israel Studies. She previously served as an Israel Institute Visiting Assistant Professor at the Center. Alon Amit received her Ph.D. in Ancient Philosophy from Haifa University. Her research explores the history of ideas from Ancient Greece to modern times. She is the author of the forthcoming book: On Happy Souls: The History of Soul in Western Culture (Cambridge Scholars, 2021).



DISCLAIMER: The views or opinions of our guest speakers and the content of their presentations do not necessarily reflect the views of the UCLA Younes and Soraya Nazarian Center for Israel Studies. Hosting speakers does not constitute an endorsement of the speaker's views or opinions.