Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs
Facebook Twitter YouTube Trending Globally Podcast Instagram Tumblr Email list

Sa'ed Atshan ─ Queer Palestine and the Empire of Critique

Friday, February 4, 2022

1 p.m. – 2 p.m.

 

Watch webcast

From Ramallah to New York, Tel Aviv to Porto Alegre, people around the world celebrate a formidable, transnational Palestinian LGBTQ social movement. Solidarity with Palestinians has become a salient domain of global queer politics. Yet LGBTQ Palestinians, even as they fight patriarchy and imperialism, are themselves subjected to an "empire of critique" from Israeli and Palestinian institutions, Western academics, journalists and filmmakers, and even fellow activists. Such global criticism has limited growth and led to an emphasis within the movement on anti-imperialism over the struggle against homophobia.

With this book, Sa'ed Atshan asks how transnational progressive social movements can balance struggles for liberation along more than one axis. He explores critical junctures in the history of Palestinian LGBTQ activism, revealing the queer Palestinian spirit of agency, defiance, and creativity, in the face of daunting pressures and forces working to constrict it. Queer Palestine and the Empire of Critique explores the necessity of connecting the struggles for Palestinian freedom with the struggle against homophobia.

Center for Middle East Studies
Meet the Author
Virtual Events

About the Author 

Sa'ed Atshan is an (acting) associate professor of anthropology at Emory University. He is also an associate professor of peace and conflict studies at Swarthmore. Atshan previously served as a visiting assistant professor of anthropology and senior research scholar in Middle Eastern studies at the University of California, Berkeley, and as a postdoctoral fellow at Brown University's Watson Institute for International Studies. He earned a joint PhD in anthropology and Middle Eastern studies, an MA in social anthropology from Harvard University, and a Master in Public Policy (MPP) from the Harvard Kennedy School. As an anthropologist, Atshan's research is focused on a) contemporary Palestinian society and politics, b) global LGBTQ social movements, and c) Quaker Studies and Christian minorities in the Middle East. His forthcoming book, Paradoxes of Humanitarianism: The Social Life of Aid in the Palestinian Territories, is under contract with Stanford University Press in their Anthropology of Policy Series. He is also the author of Queer Palestine and the Empire of Critique (Stanford University Press, 2020), and is co-author of The Moral Triangle: Germans, Israelis, Palestinians (Duke University Press, 2020).