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Lunch Seminar: Giacomo Loi
February 15 @ 12:30 pm - 2:00 pm
Lunch seminar with Giacomo Loi.
For UNC faculty and graduate students.
12:30-1:30pm. Location Pettigrew Hall, Suite 100.
Lunch will be served. UPDATE FEB 15 9:30AM:
THIS EVENT IS NO LONGER ACCEPTING NEW REGISTRATION AS THE ROOM IS AT CAPACITY.
Archaeology has long been central to the nation-state discourse. In modern Israel, the recovery of the past answered not only the need for evidence of ancient autochthonous Jewish life in Palestine but also for models of political independence and military resistance. These charged encounters with the past set the stage for the literary response to Israeli national archaeology. This talk focuses on the short story Nina of Ashkelon by the Israeli writer Yehuda Amichai (1924-2000) and argues that Amichai allusively attacks the Zionist use of the past: the Roman tomb at the center of the story points out the fate of the Land of Israel – constantly appropriated and exploited, as symbolized by Nina, the story’s protagonist. In his reading of the archaeological landscape, Amichai emphasizes its multilayered nature, spanning from the ancient Roman to the pre-1948 War Arab past of the land. This reveals subsequent cycles of migration, competition, and settlement, with no apparent original “native.” Amichai’s richly metaphorical story undermines the supposedly unshakeable bond between the Land of Israel and the Jewish people, offering a snapshot of the problematic intersection between nationalism and the archaeological discourse.
Giacomo Loi obtained his B.A. and M.A. in Classics from the Catholic University, Milan, and his Ph.D. in Classics at Johns Hopkins University. He currently holds a postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Hebrew and Comparative Literature at the University of Haifa in Israel.