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Citizenship as Domination: Settler Colonialism and the Making of Palestinian Citizenship in Israel
Monday, November 11, 2019

In this talk, Lana Tatour of Columbia University will trace the making of the Israeli citizenship regime, focusing on the period between 1948 and 1952. During these formative years, the 1950 Law of Return, which governs Jewish entitlement to citizenship, and the 1952 Citizenship Law, which governs the status of ’48 Palestinians, were enacted. Situating the Israeli case within the broader history of citizenship-making in Anglophone settler colonial sites and drawing on analogies with Australia, the United States, and Canada, she is interested in what this formative period, in which the constitutional cornerstones of Israel’s citizenship regime came into being, can tell us about Palestinian citizenship in Israel and about the institution of citizenship in settler-colonial contexts more broadly. Drawing on original archival material, this talk argues that in Israel, as in other settler polities, citizenship has figured as an institution of domination, functioning as a mechanism of elimination, a site of subjectivation, and an instrument of race making. Racial subjects, space, and citizenship were constituted in relation to each other in intimate ways. Citizenship transformed space from Arab/Palestinian to Jewish, rendered settlers indigenous, and produced Palestinian natives as alien. Israel’s citizenship regime was predicated on the racial demarcation between Palestinians, whose citizenship was governed by the logic of naturalization, and Jewish settlers, viewed as natural and authentic subjects of citizenship. Presented in association with Live Arts Bard’s festival about borders, Where No Wall Remains.Lana Tatour is Ibrahim Abu-Lughod Postdoctoral Fellow at the Center for Palestine Studies at Columbia University. She is currently working on her book manuscript, Ambivalent Resistance: Palestinians in Israel and the Liberal Politics of Settler Colonialism and Human Rights. Tatour completed her Ph.D. in Politics and International Studies at the University of Warwick in the United Kingdom in 2017. Her doctoral research was awarded the Leigh Douglas Memorial runner-up prize for best Ph.D. dissertation on a Middle Eastern topic in the Social Sciences or Humanities by the British Society for Middle Eastern Studies (2018). She was previously a fellow at the University of New South Wales(UNSW) Faculty of Law, UNSW School of Social Sciences, the Australian Human Rights Centre, and the Palestinian American Research Center. 

Time: 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm EDT/GMT-4
Location: Olin, Room 202
Sponsor: Global and International Studies Program; Human Rights Program; Middle Eastern Studies Program
Contact: Sophia Stamatopoulou-Robbins.
Phone: 845-758-7201

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