Reuven Snir is a professor of Arabic language and literature at the University of Haifa, where he teaches courses on poetry, mysticism, and cultural identities. He has published in Arabic, Hebrew, and English; among his books are Rak‘atan fi al-‘Ishq: Dirasa fi Shi‘r ‘Abd al-Wahhab al-Bayyati (Two Rak‘as in Love: A Study of ‘Abd al-Wahhab al-Bayyati’s Poetry, Dar al-Saqi, 2002), ‘Arviyut, Yahadut, Tsiyonut: Ma’avak Zehuyot ba-Yetsira shel Yehude ‘Iraq (Arabness, Jewishness, Zionism: A Struggle of Identities in the Literature of Iraqi Jews, Ben-Zvi Institute, 2005), and Palestinian Theatre (Reichert, 2005). He was a contributing editor for the Encyclopedia of Modern Jewish Culture (Routledge, 2005) and is a translator of poetry between Arabic, Hebrew, and English.
At Radcliffe, Snir will explore the participation of Jews in Arab culture, mainly the unspoken agreement between Zionism and Arab nationalism to exclude Arab-Jewish multiple identities and highlight instead a “pure,” monolithic Jewish-Zionist identity against a Muslim-Arab one. Opening up a space for culturally oppressed Arab Jews to challenge this monolithic identity forced upon them in a process of exclusion and domination, Snir offers the notion of “singularity”—respecting the other without absorbing it into the same or the different—as a way to revive erased hybrid identities without evoking antagonism while providing hope for the future.
Snir, who received his PhD from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, served as a fellow at Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin and the Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies and taught at Heidelberg University and Freie Universität Berlin.