Contributions from the Humanities

Voices on Israel/Palestine

This two-part event offers a critical, academic perspective on Palestine/Israel. Speakers on the first night will provide an in-depth historical, cultural and social analysis of the current moment.

How does the historical entanglement of nationalism and settler colonialism, and of different forms of racism shape this deeply asymmetric conflict? How do the recent violence and evictions in Israel connect with what human rights organizations like Human Rights Watch and B’Tselem have denounced as apartheid, the failure of the two state solution, and the Nakba of 1948? Speakers will also explore the role of racism in its multiple forms (anti-Arab-racism, Islamophobia, antisemitism, anti-Blackness) in shaping the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Is there a connection between the decolonial struggle in Israel/Palestine and the decolonial struggle in Europe?

About the speakers

Ariella Aïsha Azoulay is Professor of Modern Culture and Media in the Department of Comparative Literature, Brown University. Her books include: Potential History: Unlearning Imperialism (Verso, 2019); Civil Imagination: The Political Ontology of Photography(Verso, 2012); The Civil Contract of Photography (Zone Books, 2008); From Palestine to Israel: A Photographic Record of Destruction and State Formation, 1947-1950, (Pluto Press, 2011); co-author with Adi Ophir, The One State Condition: Occupation and Democracy between the Sea and the River (Stanford University Press, 2012).

Haidar Eid is Associate Professor of Postcolonial and Postmodern Literature in the Department of English at Gaza’s al-Aqsa University. He is the author of, among others, Worlding Postmodernism: Interpretive Possibilities of Critical Theory (UNKNO, 2017) and Countering The Palestinian Nakba: One State For All (Noor Publishing, 2017).

Mezna Qato is historian of the modern Middle East, and in particular of migration, development, and social histories of Palestinian refugee and exile communities. She is completing a book on the history of education for Palestinians. She co-convenes the Archives of the Disappeared Network at the Margaret Anstee Centre for Global Studies and the Centre for Research in Arts, Social Sciences, and Humanities at the University of Cambridge.

Chiara De Cesari (moderator) is Associate Professor of European Studies and Cultural Studies at the University of Amsterdam. She is the author of Heritage and the Cultural Struggle for Palestine (2019, Stanford University Press), and co-editor of Transnational Memories (de Gruyter, 2014, with Ann Rigney) and European Memory in Populism (Routledge, 2019, with Ayhan Kaya). Her most recent NWO-Vidi project explores the globalization of contemporary art and forms of creative institutionalism and statecraft.

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