The 18th World Congress of Jewish Studies

Fatherhood in Labour Zionist Children’s Literature: Space, Masculinity and Hegemony in Mandate Palestine

This paper analyses the connection between gender and fatherhood in Labour Zionist children’s literature during the formative years of the Zionist project which preceded the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948. Contrary to most similar social movements in the interwar period, Labour Zionism was leading a settler-colonial project with the imperative to expand the Jewish presence throughout the country, making the category of space particularly relevant to the success of its hegemonic project. This paper contributes to the understanding of the role of gender in the process of Zionist settlement and colonisation, and at the same time calls for more attention to the entanglement of gender and masculinity with space in the study of colonial history.