On April 8-10, 2015, the Center for Palestine Studies hosted a three-day conference on Comparative Settler Colonialisms, co-sponsored by the Heyman Center for Humanities.
Day 1: Keynote Address
Department of Anthropology
Franz Boas Seminar by Ghassan Hage, Future Generation Professor of Anthropology and Social Theory, University of Melbourne
Talk Title: On Exterminability: The Affective Culture of Settler-Colonialism Today
Day 2: Comparative Settler Colonialisms Workshop
This all-day workshop consisted of three papers, each of which dealt with the question of settler colonialism and/or indigeneity from a different regional perspective: Palestine, North America, and the Pacific Islands.
The papers were presented by Nadera Shalhoub-Kevorkian (The Hebrew University), Dean Saranillo (New York University) and Mark Rifkin (UNC-Greensboro), and were workshoped by Robert Nichols (University of Minnesota), Lori Allen (SOAS), and Alyosha Goldstein (University of New Mexico).
In broad strokes, the workshop posed the following questions: In what specific ways do historical, ideological or temporal distinctions matter to how we think settler-colonialisms comparatively? How does "indigeneity" emerge as a recent framework of analysis and operate within Palestine, and how well does the concept travel across different historical and geographical domains? What does this new appropriation and operation of "indigeneity" do to those individuals and causes who have deployed the concept in national and international fora for longer periods and within different historical trajectories?
In addition to providing in-depth and substantive discussion of the presented papers, the workshop sought to serve as the beginning of a long-term intellectual project that will promote dialogues on settler colonialisms across both geographical divides and theoretical and political gulfs.
Day 3: Workshop on "Representations of 'Indigeneity' in Settler-Colonial Contexts: The Case of the Naqab Bedouin"
A workshop organized by Dr Sophie Richter-Devroe (University of Exeter and Visiting Scholar at Columbia University), Prof Lila Abu-Lughod (Columbia University), Dr Mansour Nasasra (Kenyon Institute, Jerusalem) and Richard Ratcliffe (Oxford University) took place on 10 April 2015 as part of a series of events on settler colonialism at Columbia University, New York.
The workshop on the Naqab Bedouin was funded through the AHRC project "Gender and Settler Colonialism: Women's Oral Histories in the Naqab" and co-organized by the Center for Palestine Studies, Columbia University and the European Center for Palestine Studies, University of Exeter.
The Naqab Bedouin have a long history of being spoken for and represented through various discursive frames in different activist, policy and/or scholarly circles. It is, of course, mainly the Israeli settler-colonial regime that dominates the politics of representation in and of the Naqab, but Palestinian nationalist agendas, international funding priorities, the Israeli tourist industry, pressures for policy relevance and impact in academia, as well as NGO advocacy and international solidarity activism also play increasingly significant roles. This workshop aimed at contextualising and critically discussing the various ways in which the Naqab Bedouin have been and are being represented, paying particular attention to more recent, often claimed to be 'indigenous' or 'decolonising,' discourses.