Friday, September 16 –
Saturday, September 17, 2022
McKinney Conference Room, 111 Thayer Street
This conference is open to Brown University faculty and students only. Registration is required. See the schedule below. Please register here.
On 9/15/22 at 4:30 pm, this conference will open with a talk by Eyal Weizman on Atmospheric Violence.
This conference comes in the wake of what has been called "Bloody May" of 2021, which saw major outbreaks of violence in most Arab-Jewish cities in Israel/Palestine, including Jerusalem, Acre, Haifa, Lod, Jaffa, and Beersheba. While these cities have a long history of ethnic conflict, in the past it was mainly manifested in tensions and violence between state authorities and Palestinian groups. The last eruption, however, pitted for the first time since 1948 entire civil communities against each another in widespread Palestinian-Jewish communal violence across the entire land. Indeed, these binational cities experienced what Mustafa Dikec has aptly termed “urban rage,” where long-term processes operate in tandem: ethnic and national rivalries, neo-colonialism and growing socioeconomic disparities, but also urban democracy and a measure of liberalism. These forces have created pockets of benign liberal mixing and increasing economic integration, on the one hand, and “neo-apartheid” cities, as Haim Yacobi has termed called them, on the other.
The conference will attempt to draw on these recent events as an opportunity to rethink and reassess previous understandings, paradigms, and misconceptions, rooted in a perception of these urban areas as nothing but “mixed cities.” Using multidisciplinary theoretical, historical, and comparative perspectives, the workshop will focus on the changing terms of binational coexistence between Jews and Palestinians in urban regions between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean.
The main guiding question for the workshop is: What are the deep causes of the recent eruption of urban violence, and what are the prospects of future peaceful coexistence? The goal is to assemble a group of scholars working on cutting-edge research, while highlighting the work of a new generation of scholars engaged in “grounded” conceptual work, both on Israel/Palestine, and on several other examples and theoretical frameworks that will provide a comparative perspective. The expected outcomes are publications and policy papers, as well as public events, all geared to substantially rethinking the past, present and future of binational cities in Israel/Palestine and elsewhere.
Co-sponsored by the Center of Middle East Studies, the John Nicholas Brown Center and The Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs.