Rebekah Emanuel

Academic Year: 
From Yale
Exchange Partners: 
Tel Aviv University
Research Interest: 
Understanding Narratives of Death In the Israeli-Arab Conflict

Ms. Emanuel will focus her research on the elucidating how the way that people die impacts the way that their loved ones remember them. She has a special focus on how the political context of the Israeli Arab conflict influences and is influenced by the framing of narratives of death. Memorializing loved ones can be a powerful force both in individuals' private lives and in larger civil society. What meaning to take from a life (and from a death) is often a wrenching question. In the Middle East context, these questions take on a whole new dimension. The Israeli-Arab conflict is constantly reinforced by narratives of death as powerful motivators to action. However, the same death can incite survivors to commit to increasingly extreme and violent political positions, or just the opposite, can serve as a motivation to work toward peace and reconciliation. Through a series of interviews, Ms. Emanuel hopes to determine if narratives of death are seen as foundational moral justification for current political and civic action. Ms. Emanuel will also distinguish between the effects of conflict related and natural deaths, and will examine how having time to "say goodbye" changes the meanings memorialized.