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MATS Students visited Israel

19. Jan. 2018

In early December, several students of the M.A. Transcultural Studies had the opportunity to attend a trip to Israel. The eight-day excursion, which included a postgraduate student workshop in Jerusalem, was organized by the Cluster's Student Association.

During the first days of their field trip, the eight students visited the ancient port city of Acre, where they spoke to Yochai Palzur of Haifa University about his PhD project on the "Ma'agan Michael II", a replica of a 2,500-year-old Phoenician ship, which was built by the Department of Maritime Civilizations at the University of Haifa. In a session taking place on board the ship itself, the students were also introduced to Phoenician shipbuilding techniques.

During their excursion, the students also participated in a postgraduate student workshop, which was held between the MATS participants and students of the “Asian Sphere” program at the Hebrew University’s Mandel School for Advanced Studies in the Humanities. The workshop was chaired by Prof. Gideon Shelach-Levi and covered a wide range of topics from a number of disciplines, ranging from migration in the Paleolithic age and the ethnicity of Mongolian soldiers to photography and literature in pre-modern China and works of modern day Russian scholars. The participants were also enthusiastic to exchange details about their respective programs, including the ERASMUS+ exchange possibilities between the two universities, and were able to engage in discussions and networking opportunities.

The students also visited the Knesset (parliament) and held a conversation with Noa Golani, head of the LGBTQA division of the main opposition party “Zionist Union”, and parliamentary assistant to MK (Member of Knesset) Dr. Nachman Shai. Special attention was paid to the recent American ruling on Jerusalem, including its possible aftereffects in Israel, and how academic learning could be meaningfully tied to political action.

Other activities during the eight-day field trip included visits to the archaeological sites of Megiddo, Caesarea, and Masada, to the Israel Museum, the Yad Vashem holocaust institute, museum and research centre as well as the Bental observation post towards the Syrian border from the Golan Heights.


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