The 1st LAIS meeting within the 2nd BIWARD conference

Fortaleza 19-21.11.2018

Within the 2nd BIWARD conference for the promotion of cooperation between Israel and Brazil at Fortaleza University, the first Latin American Israel Studies (LAIS) meeting will be convening for a three-day program between the 19th and 21nd of November 2018. LAIS is a first step to create a network of scholars connecting Latin America, North America and Israel, fostering future partnerships and the mutual exchange of knowledge in the field of Israel studies.

As an academic field Israel Studies includes, but is not limited, to History, Social Sciences, Arts and Communication, International Relations, Middle Eastern, Arab and Jewish Studies. In recent years, a growing number of centers and departments for Israel Studies have been established across multiple universities in the United States, Europe, Israel, China and India.

Israel is a complex place. It is Middle Eastern and European, a Jewish state and a home to many communities and religions. At times in harmony but also in tension, these diverse cultural influences define modern Israel. The conflict between Israelis and Palestinians is also an integral part of its reality. Its society, politics and culture offer a multitude of cases and opportunities to be studied from a wide range of multidisciplinary perspectives. We believe that the conference will provide an opportunity to assess these questions through informed academic debate and research.

The Latin American academic community has up to now seldom been heard in this conversation, despite being a well-recognized space of intellectual creativity. The LAIS initiative wishes to promote Israel Studies in Latin America and the voice of Latin American scholars in the evolving discussions on Israel in the academic world.



Michel Gherman (UFRJ), Arieh Saposnik (BGRI), Shai Tagner (BGRI), Leonel Caraciki (BGRI), Alice Gaya (Anthropology, BGU)


Monday 19th
Arrival & Registration

18:00 BIWARD opening session and Keynote
Tuesday 20th
10:00 Keynote: Prof. Arieh Saposnik

11:45-12:30 Roundtable: Participants’ personal and institutional introduction


14:30-15:30 1st Panel of individual presentations:

Renato Athias (Federal university of Pernambuco)
“Indigenous people in Israel and Brazil: Notes about Political Anthropology in Brazil and Israel”

Arieh Saposnik (BGRI, BGU)
“Real Estate or Holy Land? Struggles over Sacred and Profane Space in Pre-State Palestine”


16:00-17:30 2nd Panel of individual presentations:

Guilherme Casaroes (Fundação Getulio Vargas)
“Brazilian Evangelicals and the Zionist Discourse”

Samuel Feldberg (University of Sao Paulo)
“The Challenges for Teaching Israeli Studies in Brazil”
Wednesday 21st
10:00-11:00 3rd Panel of individual presentations:

Bruno Szlak (University of Sao Paulo)

Michel Gherman
"Tragedies and Narratives: Brazilian Right, Brazilian Left and the Israel-Palestinian Conflict: From BDS supporters to Zionist Evangelicals"


Shai Tagner (BGRI, BGU)
“Non-Jewish refugees in the Jewish state: addressing the challenges of asylum seeking migration through a Jewish perspective in Israel”

Leonel Caraciki (BGRI, BGU)
“In every generation they rise up against us: Israel looks at the 'Zionism is Racism' resolution (1975)”


14:00-15:00 Roundtable: Establishing and Promoting Israel Studies in Latin America

15:15-16:00 Closing discussion