CFP for an edited volume focusing on the Canaanite Movement (the 'Young Hebrews')

Ofri Krischer's picture

Call for Papers for an edited volume focusing on

the Canaanite Movement (the 'Young Hebrews')

Editors: Dr. Shai Feraro (Tel Hai College) and Ofri Krischer (George Washington University)

The 'Young Hebrews', also known as the Canaanites, were a group of young artists, poets and Palmach members who – during the 1940s and 1950s – wished to create a new Hebrew nation in what was then British Mandate Palestine, that will cut itself off from 2,000 years of Jewish Diaspora and be based instead on the shared cultural heritage of the Semitic peoples. This Hebrew vision began to sprout during the 1930s in the writings of historian and ideologue Adya Gur Horon (aka Adolphe Gourevitch, 1907-1972), but it was the poet Yonatan Ratosh (aka Uriel Shelach, 1908-1981) – who met Horon in Paris in 1938 – who developed it into a more concrete political concept, which he then tried to advance via groups such as the 'Council for the Coalition of Hebrew Youth' and the 'Young Hebrews Center'. While the Canaanite Movement suffered political failure and disintegrated following the early 1950s, its long-term effects on Israeli society – especially in art and literature – far outgrew its minute size, and its propagators and members included noted individuals such as Ahraon Amir (1923-2008),  Benjamin Tammuz (1919-1989), Amos Kenan (1927-2009), Boaz Evron (1927-2018), and Uzzi Ornan (b. 1923).

This edited volume seeks to examine Canaanism and its effect on Israeli society, as well as on thinkers in adjacent countries, in historical, ideological-political, and artistic contexts. Among the issues already set to be examined: contact between the 'Young Hebrews' and proponents of Phoenician nationality from among Lebanese Maronites; individuals such as Lehi leader and Israeli politician Nahtan Yellin-Mor (1913-1980) and their dialogue with Canaanite ideas; echoes of Canaanite thought in later organizations such as Uzzi Ornan's 'I am Israeli' Movement; References to the ancient Canaanites in the history of pre-Zionist Western thought; Canaanite influences on Israeli art;  and even the surveillance placed upon the group by various State and pre-State bodies.

We would be happy to receive additional proposals for chapters that focus on the study of the Canaanite Movement and/or a variety of closely corresponding subjects, such as (but not limited to): the effects of Canaanite ideology on Israeli society; contact between the 'Young Hebrews' and proponents of similar nationalistic ideas in the region, such as the Pharaonist movement in Egypt, and Assyrian nationalism in and around northern Iraq; gender and the Canaanite Movement; Palestinian Canaanism; Canaanism and Israeli literature, and more.

Potential contributors should send an abstract (up to 150 words), a tentative title and a short bio to Dr. Shai Feraro ( and/or Ofri Krischer ( by 15 November 2020. Those invited to participate will be required to deliver the full chapters (ranging between 7,000-8,000 words incl. bibliography) until 31 August 2021.   


We are happy to answer any additional queries.


Dr. Shai Feraro (Tel Hai College)

Ofri Krischer (George Washington University)