The Palestine Seminar (Spring 2024), convened by Dr. Frances S. Hasso, includes an open-access syllabus, five live-streamed panels (produced and published as podcast episodes after completion), a film series at Duke University, a day-long in-person and livestreamed conference on 28 February 2024 titled "Concrete Imaginings: Building a Liberated Palestine" (published as podcast episodes after completion), and an in-person public lecture on 3 April 2024 at Duke by the Palestinian writer Adania Shibli. Duke Middle East Librarian Sean Swanick co-created an in-progress Subject Guide on Palestine to accompany The Palestine Seminar.
Hasso is Professor of Gender, Sexuality and Feminist Studies, History, and Sociology at Duke University. She is a widely published scholar of the Arab world and Palestine, most recently Buried in the Red Dirt: Race, Reproduction and Death in Modern Palestine (Cambridge 2022) and “Beyond the Treatment Room: The Psyche-Body-Society Care Politics of Cairo’s El-Nadeem” in Signs: Journal of Women and Culture in Society (2023, Vol. 49:1).
She is grateful to GSF staff, students, and colleagues as well as academic units, individuals, and groups throughout Duke and in the Durham community who helped make The Palestine Seminar possible through their labor and support, including Duke Academics and Staff for Justice in Palestine. She especially appreciates the guest artists, scholars, and practitioners who agreed to participate in the seminar and the dedicated and enthusiastic Duke students who enrolled in it. Sina Rahmani of The East is a Podcast is generously producing post-facto and posting recorded panels and conversations.
DUKE UNITS SPONSORING SEMINAR EVENTS:
Department of Gender, Sexuality and Feminist Studies, John Hope Franklin Humanities Institute, Department of African & African American Studies, Asian American and Diaspora Studies Program, Department of History, International Comparative Studies Program, Department of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, Department of Cultural Anthropology, Program in Literature, Duke Human Rights Center @FHI
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Dr. Louis Allday is a writer, editor and historian. He completed his PhD at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. His PhD research focused on British cultural and educational propaganda in the Arab Gulf states and Britain's attempts to stop the spread of Arab nationalism to the region and ensure its continued dominance over it.
Professor Pappé obtained his BA degree from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and the D. Phil from the University of Oxford. He founded and directed the Academic Institute for Peace in Givat Haviva, Israel between 1992 to 2000 and was the Chair of the Emil Tuma Institute for Palestine Studies in Haifa between 2000 and 2006. He taught at Haifa University between 1984 and 2006. He is currently a Professor of History and Director of the European Centre for Palestine Studies, and a Fellow at the Institute for Arab and Islamic Studies at the University of Exeter in the UK. He is a widely published scholar of Israel, including as a settler-colonial project in historic Palestine.
Feb. 14, 2024, 2:00 pm
A Conversation with filmmaker Jumana Manna on Storytelling, Remembering, and Forgetting
Jumana Manna is a Palestinian visual artist and filmmaker. Manna's work explores how power is articulated, focusing on the body, land and materiality in relation to colonial inheritances and histories of place. Through sculpture, filmmaking, and occasional writing, Manna deals with the paradoxes of preservation practices, particularly within archaeology, agriculture and law. Her practice considers the tension between the modernist traditions of categorisation and conservation and the unruly potential of ruination as an integral part of life and its regeneration. Jumana was raised in Jerusalem and lives in Berlin.
April 10, 2024, 2:00 pm
A Panel on Health in Palestine with Palestinian health professionals
Livestream information and details on the panel participants will be found here.
April 17, 2024, 2:00 pm
A Panel on Literary Gaza with writers of poetry and fiction from Gaza, Palestine
Livestream information and details on the panel participants will be found here.
Tuesday, February 6, 2024 @6:30 pm Palestine Film Series, "Tantura" (2022) by Alon Schwarz
Tuesday, February 13, 2024 @6:30 pm Palestine Film Series, "A Magical Substance Flows Into Me" (2016) by Jumana Manna
Tuesday, February 20, 2024 @6:30 pm Palestine Film Series, "Wedding in Galilee" (1987) by Michel Khleifi
Tuesday, March 19, 2024 @6:30 pm
Palestine Film Series, "Gaza Ghetto: Portrait of a Palestinian Family, 1948-1984" (1985) by Joan Mandell
Untitled 2022 by Heba Zaqout, artist and fine arts teacher, martyred 13 October 2023 with two of her children in Gaza.
Concrete Imaginings: Building a Liberated Palestine
An In-Person and Livestreamed Conference
Pink Parlor, East Duke Building, Duke University
Wednesday, February 28, 2024
PANEL 1: 12:00-1:30
“The Urgency of Anti-Imperial Feminism: Lessons from Palestine”
Walaa Alqaisiya, Ca' Foscari University of Venice (via Zoom)
This talk maps the epistemic, political, and moral grounds informing the urgency of anti-imperial feminism that Palestine brings into sight. Combining decolonial and Third-Worldist Marxist theoretical approaches, the first part of the talk unpacks the functionality of gender to the onto-epistemic foundations of Zionist settler colonialism under US-led imperialism. The second part discusses how the centering of the Palestinian national question redefines the moral and political parameters of feminist and queer mobilisation. In doing so, the last part shows the limitations and tensions that post-structural feminist and queer approaches carry, when dealing with the question of liberation, violence, and development in global South contexts, such as Palestine.
“Christian Zionism, Displacement, and the Role of Travel”
Jennifer Kelly, University of California, Santa Cruz (via Zoom)
A central tenet of Falwell’s Moral Majority, founded in 1979, was unequivocal support for Israel and, by 1983, he began his first of many “Friendship Tours to Israel,” which included meetings with government officials and tours of Israeli military installations. Today, Christian Zionism tours follow this template, pairing pilgrimage with celebrations of Israel’s sustained displacement of Palestinians. At the center of displacement in Jerusalem, for example, is a biblical theme park—run by settlers—planned for Silwan that comprises a cable car, a seven-story Jewish cultural center on Wadi Hilweh land, and shopping centers and homes for settlers. And, during this current genocidal war on Gaza, Christian Zionists across the U.S. are once again eagerly seeing Israel’s destruction of Gaza as a sign of end times and calling for unchecked Israeli control over all of Palestine. In this paper, I show not only how tourism is never a thing apart from colonial state violence, but also how tourism is part of the fabric of a U.S. Christian Zionism that both enables and facilitates Palestinian displacement.
30 minutes Q&A
PANEL 2: 1:45-3:15
"Queer Threads: Activist Fashion in Palestine"
Roberto Filippello, University of Amsterdam
In this presentation I sketch the contours of the formation of an activist fashion scene across Palestine in the face of material challenges that the infrastructures of the occupation pose to the production and circulation of clothes. I theorize the creative practices of Palestinian fashion designers and image-makers as makeshift acts of collective disidentification with the ecocidal, racist, and queerphobic Zionist enterprise, and argue that “queer decolonial fashion practices” offer a model of creative activism wherein environmental ethics, anti-racism, and queer claims are fundamentally interconnected. Conjoining Gramscian analytical categories and queer epistemologies from the South, I highlight how sartorial praxis and embodiment figure in the imagination of Palestinian youth.
“Laboratories of Speculation: Rethinking Jericho, ‘the City of the Moon’”
Ronak K. Kapadia, University of Illinois Chicago (via Zoom)
Critical queer feminist study has lovingly brought renewed methodological attention to long-forgotten, once-inhabited sites, archives, geographies, and histories, which can be newly reanimated for the service of contemporary collective social life. One such instance in present-day Palestine has been the international art, writing, and research residency called el-Atlal (“The Ruins”) co-founded by Karim Kattan, Victoria Dabdoub, Rebecca Topakian, and Céleste Haller from 2014-2019 in the town of Jericho, the “oldest city in the world.” Given its historical heritage and complex station in the local imagination, Jericho is a generative utopian site for enacting new incubatory spaces for alternative political and aesthetic possibility in the dystopian here and now. If Palestine, and the Palestinian people subject to Israeli rule, have long served as one of the foremost paradigmatic “laboratories” for the development of late modern settler security states and their fabrication of new technologies of policing, maiming, and killing perfected on Palestinians under siege, this talk explores how we might reimagine an archetypal “Palestine” instead as an experimental site of decolonial fantasy and creative freedom, one that also portends the ends of the conjoined US/Israeli settler security states and their forever wars on terror.
30 minutes Q&A