The modern nation-state is supposed to be ethnically and culturally homogenous; after World War II, both Israel’s implementation of Zionism and Arab Nationalism adopted versions of this purism—purging and excluding from the body social what refuses assimilation. After the Six-Day War, the Egyptian-born Israeli writer Jacqueline Kahanoff deployed the notion of Levantinism to challenge the national narrative from a minoritarian perspective informed by her memories of colonial Cairo. In engaging with Kahanoff’s Levantine writings, Eva Meyer and Eran Schaerf seek to re-examine her Levantinism not as a readymade solution, but as a complex and cogent—albeit compromised—problematization of the state as we know it.
philosopher, writer, and filmmaker
Eva Meyer is a philosopher, writer, and filmmaker. She has been a visiting professor at various universities and art schools, most recently she was Eberhard Berent Goethe Chair at New York University, New York. She is the author of numerous books, among them: Legende sein (2016); Frei und indirekt (2010); What Does the Veil Know? (co-edited with Vivian Liska, 2009); Von jetzt an werde ich mehrere sein (2003); and Zählen und Erzählen: Für eine Semiotik des Weiblichen (1983, reprinted 2013). Her recent film (made in collaboration with Eran Schaerf) is Only Six Can Play this Game (2021). Eva Meyer lives in Berlin.