Mira SucharovMay 11, 2021
Borders and Belonging
Palgrave MacMillan 2020
Mira Sucharov’s new book, Borders and Belonging: A Memoir (Palgrave MacMillan, 2020), is a work that takes seriously the feminist adage that the “personal is political,” and vice versa. Through an intimate telling of her life, Sucharov uses the work to trace her shifting relationship to Israel, and the Israeli-Plaestinitan conflict, the meaning of diaspora Jewish identity, and what writing about International Relation can look like. The memoir covers topics such as the divorce of her parents, her time spent at Jewish summer camps as a child, visits to Israel, and her time in graduate school then later as a professional academic working in the field of Political Science, specializing in Israel-Palestine. Throughout, Sucharov touches on themes of identity, gender, disability, and home. It is a work of use to scholars across the humanities and social sciences for its honest approach to the subjective dynamics of academic engagement.
Mira Sucharov is Professor of Political Science and University Chair of Teaching Innovation at Carleton University. She is the author of Public Influence: A Guide to Op-Ed Writing and Social Media Engagement (University of Toronto Press, 2019), and The International Self: Psychoanalysis and the Search for Israeli-Palestinian Peace (SUNY Press, 2005). She is also co-editor of the volumes Social Justice and Israel/Palestine: Foundational & Contemporary Debates, and Methodology and Emotion in International Relations: Parsing the Passions.
In this gripping and honest memoir, Mira Sucharov shows what a search for political and emotional home looks like. Sucharov suffered from childhood phobias triggered by her parents' divorce, and she sought emotional refuge in Jewish summer camp. But three years spent living in Israel in her twenties shook her to her core. Ultimately, encounters with colleagues, students, friends and lovers force her to confront what it means to be able to write, advocate and teach about Israel/Palestine in a way that balances affirmation with authenticity.
Claire English is PhD Candidate in the Department of Religions and Cultures at Concordia University, Montreal.