The Pedagogy of Song

Teaching Israel through Music

in Israel Studies Review
Daniel Stein Kokin Visiting Scholar, Arizona State University in Tempe, USA

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Drawing upon the author's “Settlement in Israeli History” course, this essay argues that song can play a valuable and pedagogically economical role in Israel Studies and general humanities teaching, in both conveying meaning and initiating students in the art of close textual analysis. In particular, it showcases how the Israeli classics “Anu banu artzah” (We have come to the land), “The Ballad of Yoel Moshe Salomon,” and “Shir ha-‘emek” (Song of the Valley) can be deployed to stimulate vibrant and critical class discussions. In doing so, it also offers detailed readings of these songs and their place in Israeli culture.

Contributor Notes

DANIEL STEIN KOKIN is currently a Visiting Scholar at Arizona State University in Tempe. In the past, he has taught at Yale, UCLA, the University of Oregon, and the University of Greifswald (Germany). His published research spans Renaissance, Jewish, and Israel Studies, and his edited volume Hebrew between Jews and Christians is forthcoming with De Gruyter. In addition, he is the founder and director of “All the Points,” a digital humanities project producing interactive maps charting the history of settlement in modern Israel/Palestine. He has also created the hartzagot (academic performances) “Inversions and Subversions,” devoted to Leone de’ Sommi's Comedy of Betrothal (the oldest known Hebrew-language play), and “Breach of Protocols: Revisiting Zion's Elders,” exploring the origins and reception of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. E-mail:

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