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Romeo and Juliet in Palestine: Teaching Under Occupation
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Romeo and Juliet in Palestine: Teaching Under Occupation

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3.70  ·  Rating details ·  47 ratings  ·  5 reviews
For five months at the start of 2013, Tom Sperlinger taught English literature at the Abu Dis campus of Al-Quds University in the Occupied West Bank. In this account of the semester, Sperlinger explores his students' encounters with works from 'Hamlet' and 'The Yellow Wallpaper' to Kafka and Malcolm X. By placing stories from the classroom alongside anecdotes about life in ...more
Paperback, 157 pages
Published June 26th 2015 by Zero Books
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Tom Sperlinger Thank you for the question! Yes, the book includes an account of teaching 3 Shakespeare plays (and various other books) in Palestine: Romeo and Juliet…moreThank you for the question! Yes, the book includes an account of teaching 3 Shakespeare plays (and various other books) in Palestine: Romeo and Juliet, Julius Caesar and Hamlet. The first chapter includes some of the versions of R&J that my students wrote, set in Gaza or the West Bank. I hope you like the book!(less)
Tom Sperlinger Thanks for your question, Rebecca. I haven't heard from other readers with similar concerns about errors or typos (though I have spotted 1 or 2 myself…moreThanks for your question, Rebecca. I haven't heard from other readers with similar concerns about errors or typos (though I have spotted 1 or 2 myself, worse luck) - but I'm sorry if this affected your enjoyment of the book. The book isn't intended to give a definitive account of the historical context, but I tried to get the balance right between contextualizing the story it tells and allowing some of what happens in the book to speak for itself.(less)

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Mimi Thebo
Oct 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is a beautifully written account of a Western English Professor teaching at an underfunded university in the West Bank. It's an enlightening view of the long-standing conflict (not least because the author has family and friends in Israel), but it's more than a travel story. The characters of the students are well detailed and their determination to learn is heartbreaking. Sperlinger's love for his subject of English Literature shines through, as well, so in the end, the book is a justifica ...more
M
May 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Incredibly meaningful, Tom Sperlinger offers a glimpse into life in Palestine.
Pedro Proença
Jul 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a extremely personal book about one man's experiences as a teacher in a West Bank university.

Sperlinger focus a lot on his students, highlighting the difference between them and Western ones. But also their similarities. The political situation of the region serves mostly as a backdrop, appearing as justifications from the students as why they couldn't deliver an assignment on time, or when they (students and teacher) travel from different places in the region.

Tom is enticed by the West
...more
Marcy
Jul 29, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm writing a longer review for Electronic Intifada so I won't say much here. It's an interesting read for teachers, especially those interested in Palestine. I'm not quite sure it would work the other way around. I also feel like it's too much of a snapshot--there is not enough depth and he clearly--by his own admission--doesn't have a clear enough sense of the institution he's teaching at let alone the historical context in Palestine.
F.J.
Apr 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A fascinating insight into the current situation of the Palestinians. I loved the concept, the honesty and the interweaving of personal lives with the teaching of literature. At times brutal, at others humorous, always intriguing. Yes. I loved it!
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My first book, Romeo and Juliet in Palestine, is about a semester I spent teaching at Al-Quds University - which has campuses in Jerusalem and in the West Bank - in 2013. It is about students and teachers who face ordinary dilemmas – taking an exam, falling in love, skipping class - in extraordinary circumstances. I've recently published a new book, Who are universities for?, with 2 colleagues. It ...more

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