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Call for Papers: Right of Return Conference (5-7 April, Boston)

[Protesters in Bil'in village in 2006. Image by Michael Loadenthal via Flickr] [Protesters in Bil'in village in 2006. Image by Michael Loadenthal via Flickr]

Right of Return Conference
5 - 7 April 2013
Boston University

The Right of Return Conference Committee is seeking abstracts about Palestinian refugees and the Right of Return for papers to be presented at the Right of Return Conference at Boston University, 5-7 April 2013. While there has been much theoretical work done on the subject, we are looking to move beyond ethical arguments, and focus instead on the practical implications of this Right, investigating the ways in which Return can and will be implemented.

The Conference seeks to examine the Palestinian struggle for Return by affirming it as a practical political goal and elaborating on the forms this Return will take. This Conference will be a platform for critical discourse and inquiry into Return and an examination of Return discourses within the various Palestinian communities. Ultimately, the conference seeks to normalize Return discourse within the US academic context.

We welcome papers from various disciplines. The papers should discuss topics including but not limited to:

Implementing Return

What are the applications of international law to property restitution and land claims? What models of urban planning in the post-Return era will create livable, sustainable urban futures? How can “facts on the ground” (namely the settlements and the Separation Wall) be changed to accommodate Palestinians? Who counts as a refugee and how can generational obstacles be addressed? What lessons can we learn from experiences elsewhere (such as South Africa, Algeria, Zimbabwe, Armenia/Azerbaijan, and former Yugoslavia)?

Palestinian Diasporas

What roles do Arab and other regional players have in the execution of, or hindrance to the Right of Return? What are the current political conditions ofrefugees and what are their relationships to the project of Return? What are the issues surrounding the status of Palestinians holding citizenship in other states and their relationship to the Right of Return? What is the role of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement in engaging with the question of Return?

Refugees in the Homeland

How do we address Arab Jewish claims of Return and property restitution in its relationship with the Palestinian Right of Return? How can we examine the attitudes of contemporary political actors towards Return (specifically the Palestinian Authority)? What is the relationship between the Palestinian Right of Return and the Jewish Law of Return?

After the Return

How will religious, cultural and political representation be dealt with in the post-Return era? What are the visions of coexistence on a local level amongst all groups affected by Return? How do we approach the issues of place names and spatial identities? What are the solutions to language issues that will emerge? What models can we formulate for the emergent political context in the post-Return era?

Abstracts should be a minimum of one page. Email papers in MS Word format to rightofreturnpapers@gmail.com. Please include your full name, title, resume, institution, phone number, e-mail, and mailing address. Deadline for submission is 1 February 2013.

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