Now, THERE is a neat way to end the calendar year! Congratulations to Prof. Atshan for his important role in advancing Palestine studies.
The Ruth Benedict Prize Committee of the Association for Queer Anthropology has awarded Queer Palestine and the Empire of Critique, written by Peace and Conflict Studies Associate Professor Sa’ed Atshan, an honorable mention for the 2021 Benedict Prize.
The Association for Queer Anthropology (AQA) website provides more information about the prize: “The Ruth Benedict Prize is presented each year at the American Anthropological Association’s annual meeting to acknowledge excellence in a scholarly book written from an anthropological perspective about a lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender topic. The Ruth Benedict Prize is awarded in each of two separate categories: one for a single-authored monograph and another for an edited volume. Submissions may be on any topic related to lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people, or other gender / sexual formations and categories from any world culture area. Topics may include the study of normativity, queer theory, and the social/historical construction of sexual and gender identities, discourses and categories. Authors may represent any scholarly discipline, but the material submitted must engage anthropological theories and methods.”
“Sa’ed, I am writing to you as Chair of the Ruth Benedict Prize Committee of the Association for Queer Anthropology. It is my great pleasure to tell you that your book, Queer Palestine, has been awarded the Honorable Mention of this year’s Benedict Prize. Congratulations!”🥰— Sa’ed Atshan | سائد عطشان (@Dr_Atshan) August 25, 2021
AQA commends Prof. Atshan’s monograph, writing, “This is a most timely and admirably courageous book that challenges the seeming gap between queer activism and anthropology. Atshan traces the rise of the global queer Palestinian solidarity movement from 2002 on, and explores why, since 2012, the movement plateaued — no longer growing nor receding. Drawing on longstanding conversations with queer activists in Israel/Palestine and the diaspora, the author shows how, in recent years, critiques of empire have ironically given rise to an “empire of critique”: an uneven (and often toxic) global field of debate, in which activists and academics based in the West can criticize Palestinian activists in ways that undermine their solidarity-building efforts and expand extant regimes of surveillance, suspicion, and control. An example in this regard are the so-called “radical purists” who believe that there is only one truth about any given oppressive situation and about how to practice liberation. In contrast, Atshan shows that anthropology has the potential to support local activist struggles against homophobia and imperialism by rigorously engaging with, rather than dismissing, the experiences and views of these activists—their simultaneous engagement with multiple axes of oppression.”
Mizrahi Mothers, Wrapped in the Flag of Israel: Ultra-Nationalism and the Divinity of Bureaucracy in Israel
Professor of Anthropology
University of California, Berkeley
Thursday, October 29, 2015
Scheuer Room, Kohlberg Hall, Swarthmore College (directions)
Israeli-American anthropologist Smadar Lavie will discuss her new book, “Wrapped in the Flag of Israel: Mizrahi Single Mothers and Bureaucratic Torture.” The Mizrahim are the Jews from North Africa and the Middle East who comprise Israel’s majority Jewish population. They suffer from systematic discrimination by Israel’s Ashkenazi Jews who drive Israeli policymaking. Lavie’s is the first English language ethnography about single mothers in the Middle East. This is one of the very few ethnographies about single mothers outside North America. The book explores Israel’s intra-Jewish racial and ethnic conflicts from a feminist perspective. It analyzes how the plight of Mizrahi single mothers relates to Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories, as well as its tensions with Iran and other neighboring Arab countries. Lavie uncovers the conundrum of loving and staying loyal to a state that
uses its bureaucratic system to repeatedly inflict pain on its
non-European majority who, despite this pain, is willing to sacrifice
their lives for what they conceive of as the state’s security.
Equating bureaucratic entanglements with pain—what, arguably, can be seen as torture, Smadar Lavie explores the conundrum of loving and staying loyal to a state that repeatedly inflicts pain on its
non-European Jewish women citizens through its bureaucratic system. The book presents a model of bureaucracy as divine cosmology and posits that Israeli State bureaucracy is based on a theological essence that fuses the categories of religion, gender, and race into the foundation of citizenship.
The final, culminating event of the Critical Examinations of “Community” series will be a lecture and public discussion led by the remarkable anthropologist John L. Jackson, Richard Perry Professor of Communication, Africana Studies and Anthropology; University of Pennsylvania.
Wednesday March 26, 2014 at 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Science Center 101
Swarthmore College (map)
A cultural anthropologist and documentary filmmaker, John L. Jackson, Jr. has published widely on race and class in the contemporary U.S. His recent books include: Real Black: Adventures in Racial Sincerity and Racial Paranoia: The Unintended Consequences of Political Correctness.
Dr. Jackson is an excellent speaker and a skilled leader and moderator of open discussions. His visit is certain to impart ideas and inspiration for our own explorations and struggles to improve campus life for all at Swarthmore College.
We hope you will help spread the word and join us for this exciting event!
RECEPTION TO FOLLOW
This program has been made possible with funding and administrative support from the Aydelotte Foundation for the Advancement of the Liberal Arts (formerly Institute for the Liberal Arts).
Black History Month Keynote Speaker
Please join us on Wednesday, February 12th from 4:30 pm -5:45 pm in the Scheuer Room of Kohlberg for the annual Black History Month Keynote lecture given by Dr. Deborah Thomas, anthropologist at the University of Pennsylvania. The title of her lecture is, “The Time of the Archive: Visual Anthropology and State Violence in Jamaica.”
She will make connections to state sponsored violence in the United States.
Session will include time for question and answers. Light refreshment will be served.
Many thanks to Sa’ed Atshan (Swarthmore class of 2006) for his presentation this afternoon on Humanitarian Politics in Palestinian Territories. We had a great crowd, and Dr. Atshan’s lecture was excellent, as usual.