Provocations seminar series: “Hope is not yet lost? Can Israel be decolonised?”

  • -
  • Wollongong Campus
    Building 19 Research Hub

We are very excited to announce our first panel for the semester is at 2-4pm Thursday 15 August in the Building 19 Research Hub.

This panel is titled: “Hope is not yet lost? Can Israel be decolonised?” It features Naama Blatman-Thomas (Sydney) and our own Marcelo Svirsky.

The complete seminar schedule for this semester is almost ready and will be distributed very shortly. We have some great papers coming up - stay tuned.

As always, all staff and students are welcome. We look forward to seeing many of you there!

Naama Blatman-Thomas: “Colonial infrastructures in the Galilee: from disruption to continuity?”
Abstract: The paper takes an infrastructural gaze at the foundation of the Jewish city of Karmiel in the western Galilee. Based on archival research, I propose that colonial infrastructures performed more than the role of eliminating or replacing Palestinians. Rather, the process of laying down Jewish infrastructures exposed the steadfast identity of the region as fundamentally – indeed, infrastructurally – Palestinian.

Bio: Naama Blatman-Thomas is a lecturer at the School of Geosciences, University of Sydney. Her research comparatively explores settler colonial politics in Israel-Palestine and Australia, focusing on settler urban landscapes, Indigenous land, property and housing rights and the urban regimes that inform the continuity and re-formation of Indigenous belongings across time and space. Naama’s most recent work is published in Antipode and the International Journal of Urban and Regional Research and she is currently working on a manuscript entitled, The Right to Remain: Landscapes of Urban Indigeneity in Israel and Australia.

Marcelo Svirsky: “On the impossibility of change from within”
Abstract: People tend to perceive Israel’s domination of the Palestinians mainly in governmental and military terms. The images of soldiers, xenophobic Knesset legislators, and right-wing politicians dictate this perception. But in fact, the systematic oppression of the Palestinians is an ongoing settler colonial project with its continuation conditioned on the everyday mobilisation of the Jewish citizenry. The realisation that change from within is no more than wishful thinking ought to push the rational mind to support the alternative: change instigated from the outside. The talk discusses whether or not international pressure presages the destruction of Jewish life in Israel.

Bio: Marcelo Svirsky is a Senior Lecturer at the School for Humanities and Social Inquiry, University of Wollongong. He researches settler-colonial societies particularly Israel-Palestine, and focuses on questions of social transformation and decolonisation. He has published extensively in journal articles and various books and edited collections: Deleuze and Political Activism (Edinburgh University Press, 2010); Arab-Jewish Activism in Israel-Palestine (Routledge, 2012); Agamben and Colonialism with Simone Bignall (Edinburgh University Press, 2012); Collaborative Struggles in Australia and Israel-Palestine (2014); After Israel: Towards Cultural Transformation (Zed Books, 2014), and co-authored with Ronnen Ben-Arie From Shared Life to Co-Resistance in Historic Palestine (Rowman and Littlefield International, 2017).