Sociolinguistic Studies, Vol 13, No 1 (2019)

Crossing boundaries: Visceral landscapes of Israeli nationalism

Tommaso M. Milani, Erez Levon, Ruth Glocer
Issued Date: 17 Jul 2019

Abstract


The main argument of this article is that Israel seeks to govern its expat citizens not so much through the mobilisation of their ‘rational capacities to evaluate truth claims but through affects’ (Isin, 2004:225). Such viscerality of Israeli nationalism can be seen in the ways in which specific emotions – mourning, shame, guilt and fear of loss – are activated through particular semiotic choices. These affective resources, in turn, are marshalled together in order to create a sense of nostalgia, a desire to return ‘home’, which is deeply imbricated with processes of territorialisation of Israel as the Jewish homeland par excellence, and consequently engenders a problematic regime of identities – Israeli Jewish versus Diasporic Jewish. By exploring an example of how national (be)longing is activated through the circulation of emotions across texts and spaces, the article not only seeks to contribute to current discussions about affect in linguistic landscape scholarship, but also offers a fresh perspective on critical sociolinguistic work on nationalism.

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DOI: 10.1558/sols.36209

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