The Settler Colonial Paradigm: Debating Gershon Shafir's Land, Labor and the Origins of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict on its 25th Anniversary

The Settler Colonial Paradigm: Debating Gershon Shafir

A one day conference

Thursday, April 10, 2014
2:00 PM - 6:30 PM
6275 Bunche Hall

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2:00 PM

Panel I

Chair: Asli Bali, Law School, UCLA

Law and Coercion in the Making of Settler-Colonialism
Laleh Khalili, Politics and International Studies, School of Oriental and African Studies, London

The Zionist Left and Settler-Colonialism in Marj Ibn 'Amer: Land, Population and Property
Areej Sabbagh-Khoury, Mada al-Carmel- Arab Center for Applied Social Research

3:30 PM


3:45 PM

Panel II

Chair: Murat Yildiz, History, UCLA

Gershon Shafir as Israeli Sociology's Young Hegelian
Gabriel Piterberg, History, UCLA

Searching for “We”: Shafir’s Quest and the (Im)possibility of Belonging
Beshara Doumani, History and Director of Middle East Studies, Brown University

5:15 PM


5:30 PM

Chair: David Myers, Chair of History Department, UCLA

Reflections on Autonomy and Sovereignty
Gershon Shafir, Sociology, UCSD

About the presenters:

Beshara Doumani is the Director of Middle East Studies and the Joukowsky Family Distinguished Professor of Modern Middle East History at Brown University.  Beshara Doumani’s primary research has been in recovering the history of social groups, places, and time periods that have been silenced or erased by conventional scholarship on the Modern Middle East, with a specialty in the social and cultural history of peasants, merchants, artisans, and women who live in the provincial regions of the Arab East during the period of Ottoman rule (16th – 20th centuries).

Laleh Khalili is a Professor of Politics and International Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London.  Khalili’s first book, Heroes and Martyrs of Palestine: The Politics of National Commemoration (Cambridge 2007) drew on ethnographic research in the Palestinian refugee camp of Burj al-Barajna in Lebanon and focussed on the particular genres of commemoration –from the heroic practices of the heady days of Third Worldism to the tragic discourses of an era in which NGOs are ascendant. She also edited Modern Arab Politics (Routledge 2008) and co-edited (with Jillian Schwedler) Policing and Prisons in the Middle East: Formations of Coercion (Hurst/OUP 2010). Her most recent book is Time in the Shadows: Confinement in Counterinsurgencies (Stanford 2013) drew on interviews with former detainees of Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo Bay, and various Israeli detention camps and prisons – and military officers, guards, and interrogators, as well as a large number of archival sources to show the continuities in practices of detention in liberal counterinsurgencies from Boer War until today.  Her Time in the Shadows was the winner of the Susan Strange Best Book Prize of the British International Studies Association and the 2014 Prize of the International Political Sociology of the ISA.  She is currently working on a project that traces the emergence of ports, shipping and transport infrastructure in the Middle East at the intersection of war, trade, capital accumulation, and struggles over labour rights and citizenship.

Gabriel Piterberg is a Professor of History and Director of the G.E. von Grunebaum Center for Near East Studies at UCLA. He was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and grew up in Israel. He graduated at Tel Aviv University, where he majored in Middle East history and political science (BA), and Middle East and European history (MA). His D.Phil. in the history of the Ottoman Empire is from the University of Oxford. He taught at the University of Durham, England, and Ben Gurion University of the Negev in Israel. Piterberg writes and teaches on the history of the Ottoman Empire and the Mediterranean in the early modern period, and modern themes like colonialism, Zionism, and Palestine/Israel. He writes for the New Left Review and London Review of Books.

Areej Sabbagh-Khoury is pursuing a PhD in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Tel Aviv University, where she completed both her BA and MA. Her master’s thesis was entitled “Between the ‘Law of Return’ and the Right of Return; Reflections on Palestinian discourse in Israel.” Her work focuses on settler colonialism and Zionist left in  Palestine well as on Palestinian collective memory. Since 2002, she has been a Research Fellow at Mada al-Carmel—Arab Center for Applied Social Research and since 2008 an Academic Coordinator of the Political Participation Project of the Palestinians in Israel at Mada. She has contributed to several books and articles, including her book, co-edited with Nadim N. Rouhana, The Palestinians in Israel: A Guide to History, Politics, and Society (Mada al-Carmel).

Gershon Shafir received Bachelor of Arts degrees in Economics, Political Science, and Sociology from Tel Aviv University, his M.A. from the University of California, Los Angeles, and his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley. He is currently the Director of the UCSD Human Rights Minor. His co-authored Being Israeli: The Dynamics of Multiple Citizenships, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, which won the Middle Eastern Studies Association’s Albert Hourani Award for best book on the Middle East in 2002.  Struggle and Survival in Israel and Palestine, an anthology of 25 life histories which he co-edited with Mark Levine, was published by UC Press in 2012. Lessons and Legacies of the 'War on Terror' From Moral Panic to permanent War, co-edited with Everard Meade & William J. Aceves was published by Routledge. He is currently at work on Israel’s settlement policy and international humanitarian law from 1967 to the present.  His articles have appeared in the American Journal of Sociology, the British Journal of Sociology, the International Journal of Middle East Studies, Theory and Society, etc. His major area of interest is comparative and historical sociology, with emphases on nationalism, ethnicity, citizenship and human rights.

Cost : Free and open to the public

Johanna Romero
310 825-1181

Sponsor(s): Department of History