The lecture will consider how adoption by writers belonging ethnic or religious minorities of the language of the majority culture can help them sharpen their criticism of the minority whose experience they depict by blurring the distinction between insider and outsider in the reader's mind. She would compare examples from some of Roth's works about American Jews with others from works by Palestinian Arab writers who use Hebrew as a vehicle for portraying their own communities. She has in mind particularly Sayed Kashua and Attalah Mansoor. The session would involve close reading of several texts.
Ms. Ronit Engel is senior lecturer in Foreign Languages, and director of Modern Hebrew Language Program, undergraduate director for Jewish Studies, at Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, University of Pennsylvania. She is an expert in the teaching of foreign languages and literatures and a scholar of Hebrew literature and have lectured widely on many thematic and historical aspects of modern Hebrew poetry and prose. She has directed the Modern Hebrew Language Program at the University of Pennsylvania since 1995 .She has been a consultant to the US Defense Language Institute and an evaluator of language instruction programs at several North American institutions of higher learning, including Princeton and McGill Universities.