IPL in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem
While my IPL experience was a small part of my bigger independent practicum, being able to travel and conduct research on the ground in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem was crucial in helping me understand the complexities of civil society and government promotion of nationalist discourse in Israel. Conducting observational research by being able to talk with Israeli citizens and view Israeli everyday life and during the celebration of Israel’s Independence Day enriched my understanding of how Israeli citizens view their state. In addition, observational research through touring the newly-unveiled Israeli Independence Trail and visiting the Eretz Israel Museum, combined with conducting interviews with Israel academics in their home environment, truly enriched my understanding of both how Israel views itself and wants to present itself to the rest of the world. In keeping a blog documenting and analyzing nationalist discourse in public spaces in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, I have created a key primary source for both myself and future scholars who want to analyze this topic or use it to contribute to their understanding. Finally, as I posted all of the blog posts to my social media pages, I was able to engage with friends with opinions spanning all sides of the Israeli-Palestinian issue to both improve my research and learn more about issues and history that I did not know about and which have since contributed to both enriching my blog and my final practicum paper. But beyond the research, this IPL scholarship really allowed me to build my own skills as a researcher, as I arranged all of my own interviews and site visits. The planning and execution of this trip helped me to strengthen my confidence in building connections, conducting interviews, and traveling as a solo researcher, which was an amazing opportunity that would not have been possible without IPL funding.