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Conferences & lectures

Crossing a Line: Laws, Violence, and Roadblocks to Palestinian Political Expression

Friday, September 23, 2022
3 p.m. – 5 p.m.

Registration is closed


Amahl Bishara


This event is free


Department of Sociology and Anthropology



Book cover with illustrated hands reaching to the centre

Palestinians living on different sides of the Green Line make up approximately one-fifth of Israeli citizens and about four-fifths of the population of the West Bank. In both groups, activists assert that they share a single political struggle for national liberation. Yet, obstacles inhibit their ability to speak to each other and as a collective. Geopolitical boundaries fragment Palestinians into even smaller groups.

Through ethnography, Bishara enters these distinct environments for political expression and action of Palestinians who carry Israeli citizenship and Palestinians subject to Israeli military occupation in the West Bank, and considers how Palestinians are differently impacted by dispossession, settler colonialism, and militarism.

Bishara looks to sites of political practice — journalism, historical commemorations, street demonstrations, social media, in prison and on the road — to analyze how Palestinians create collectivities in these varied circumstances. She draws on firsthand research, personal interviews and public media to examine how people shape and reshape meanings in circumstances of constraint. She examines the politics of political prison and solidarity with prisoners on each side of the Green Line. In considering these different environments for political expression and action, Bishara illuminates how expression is always grounded in place — and how a people can struggle together for liberation even when they cannot join together in protest.

About the speaker

Amahl Bishara is Associate Professor and Chair of Anthropology at Tufts University. A scholar of media, protest and Palestine, she is author of Crossing a Line: Laws, Violence, and Roadblocks to Palestinian Political Expression and Back Stories: US News Production and Palestinian Politics. She has also written about popular politics in Aida Refugee Camp. She has collaborated with partners in Aida Camp to produce documentaries and children's books, including the Aida Camp Alphabet.

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