Today’s blog post is by AAA Executive Director Dr. Edward Liebow.
Because violence begets violence, I have recently been looking for a better way (without bullets) to say ‘there’s no silver bullet’ to acknowledge the palpable absence of any simple remedy to the intractable latest episode in a decades-long Israeli/ Palestinian conflict. Indeed, in recent days, hopeful glimmers of an extended cease-fire are clouded by escalating negotiation demands with toweringly high stakes. This concerns me as an individual, and also as AAA Executive Director at a moment when we are opening up dialogue on Israel/Palestine inside the association.
Indeed, here at the AAA office, summer is almost over, and our planning machine is already at full speed in advance of December’s Annual Meeting in Washington. The program is available online. Judging by recent blog posts and social media exchanges, this year’s Meeting is among the more eagerly anticipated in recent memory, in no small part due to the opportunities that have been created for a scholarly consideration of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict – although of course there are possibilities for discussion both before and after. Anthropologists will be tackling many of the world’s challenges at this year’s Meeting, so let me take this opportunity to provide you with more information about the events surrounding the Israel/Palestine conflict.
Paper presentations, roundtable discussions, and an open forum discussion will allow participants to unpack this conflict’s historical, cultural, and political-economic contexts, and also examine the advocacy role of scholarly societies like the AAA.
Thanks to the hard work of AAA members, the program chairs, the Executive Program Committee, and the AAA meetings and conference staff, we have aimed to make sure a wide range of perspectives will be represented in these events, which include:
- One Invited Research Paper Session:
- Spaces under construction: building towards an anthropology of contemporary settler colonialism in Palestine-Israel. Organizers: Michal Ran-Rubin and Jennifer Lynn Kelly; Chairs: Kali Jessica Rubaii; Papers presented by: Michal Ran-Rubin; Jennifer Lynn Kelly; Bisan Adnan Salhi; Kali Jessica Rubaii; and Noa Shaindlinger
- Four Roundtable Discussions:
- Anthropologists of Palestine-Israel and the academic boycott of Israel. Organizers: Lara Deeb; Chair: Lila Abu-Lughod;Additional Participants: Rhoda A Kanaaneh, lana Feldman, Rema E Hammami, Julie Peteet, and Nicola Perugini
- Boycotting Israeli institutions of higher education abridges academic freedom. Organizer & Chair: Samuel Edelman; Additional participants: Simon J Bronner, Russell Berman, Cary Nelson, and Ilan Troen
- Anthropologists and controversial engagements: the boycott of Israeli academic institutions. Organizer: Lisa B Rofel, Chair: Ghassan Joseph Hage, Additional participants: Lori A Allen; Magid Shihade; Lara Deeb and Jessica Winegar; Nadia Abu El-Haj; Julia Elyachar
- What is the role of academia in political change? The case of boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) and Israeli violations of international law. Organizer & Chair: Lori A Allen; Additional participants: Omar Barghouti, Richard Falk, Rebecca Vilkomerson, Saba Mahmood, Noura Erekat, and Daniel A Segal
- An Open Forum for AAA members on AAA’s engagement with Israel/Palestine
For more information and session abstracts, log in to the meetings site. We invite healthy, respectful debate, and look forward to a deliberate, considered, and educational dialogue.