Gaza in Context: A Collaborative Teach-In Series — Session 05
The Social History of Gaza:
The Ongoing Past and Present
Tuesday, 14 November 2023
9:30 AM PST | 12:30 PM EST | 7:30 PM Palestine
Teach-In Session 06
This teach-in addresses the context of Gaza over time. In conversation with Abaher al Saqqa, we will explore how we live in the present through various lenses of the past. As the author of the book: Gaza: a Social History under British Colonial Rule, 1917-1948, Abaher will narrate how Gaza as a city changed under the colonial mandate rule into Gaza as a district, and how that change proved foundational for Gaza after 1948. Addressing the past to understand the present is not only necessary, but also provides us with a sobering view of what colonial intentions may be at this very moment.
Gaza in Context Collaborative Teach-In Series
We are together experiencing a catastrophic unfolding of history as Gaza awaits a massive invasion of potentially genocidal proportions. This follows an incessant bombardment of a population increasingly bereft of the necessities of living in response to the Hamas attack in Israel on October 7. The context within which this takes place includes a well-coordinated campaign of misinformation and the unearthing of a multitude of essentialist and reductionist discursive tropes that depict Palestinians as the culprits, despite a context of structural subjugation and Apartheid, a matter of consensus in the human rights movement.
The co-organizers below are convening weekly teach-ins and conversations on a host of issues that introduce our common university communities, educators, researchers, and students to the history and present of Gaza, in context.
Co-Organizers: Arab Studies Institute, Georgetown University’s Center for Contemporary Arab Studies, George Mason University’s Middle East and Islamic Studies Program, Rutgers Center for Middle Eastern Studies, Birzeit University Museum, Harvard’s Center for Middle Eastern Studies, Brown University’s Center for Middle East Studies, University of Chicago’s Center for Contemporary Theory, Brown University’s New Directions in Palestinian Studies, Georgetown University’s Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding, Simon Fraser University’s Centre for Comparative Muslim Studies, Georgetown University-Qatar, American University of Cairo’s Alternative Policy Studies, Middle East Studies Association’s Global Academy, University of Chicago’s Center for Middle Eastern Studies, CUNY’s Middle East and Middle Eastern American Center, University of Illinois Chicago’s Arab american cultural Center, George Mason University’s AbuSulayman’s Center for Global Islamic Studies, University of Illinois Chicago’s Critical Middle East Studies Working Group, George Washington University’s Institute for Middle East Studies, Columbia University’s Center for Palestine Studies, New York University’s Hagop Kevorkian Center for Near Eastern Studies
Abaher El-Saqqa is a Palestinian sociologist with a PhD from the University of Nantes, 2005. He was a Researcher and lecturer at the University of Nantes from 1998 to 2006 and is currently a professor at Birzeit University at the department of social and behavioural sciences. He is also visiting professor at various universities in France and Belgium. His current research interest focuses on the social history and the historiography of the social sciences as well as on studies on Artistic modes of expressions, social and collective memory, social identity and protest movements; nationalism; social policies; and social mobility and political practices. He has recently completed his new book Gaza: A social history under British colonial rule, 1917 – 1948 (2018), Institute for Palestine Studies, Beirut, Lebanon.
Rana Barakat (Moderator) is an assistant professor of history and contemporary Arab studies at Birzeit University in Palestine. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Chicago writing about popular politics and resistance in early twentieth century Palestine. Her research interests include the social history of Jerusalem, colonialism, and revolutionary social movements.
Bassam Haddad (Moderator) is Founding Director of the Middle East and Islamic Studies Program and Associate Professor at the Schar School of Policy and Government at George Mason University. He is the author of Business Networks in Syria: The Political Economy of Authoritarian Resilience (Stanford University Press, 2011) and co-editor of A Critical Political Economy of the Middle East (Stanford University Press, 2021). Bassam is Co-Founder/Editor of Jadaliyya Ezine and Executive Director of the Arab Studies Institute. He serves as Founding Editor of the Arab Studies Journal and the Knowledge Production Project. He is co-producer/director of the award-winning documentary film, About Baghdad, and director of the acclaimed series Arabs and Terrorism. Bassam serves on the Board of the Arab Council for the Social Sciences and is Executive Producer of Status Audio Magazine and Director of the Middle East Studies Pedagogy Initiative (MESPI). He received MESA's Jere L. Bacharach Service Award in 2017 for his service to the profession. Currently, Bassam is working on his second Syria book titled Understanding the Syrian Calamity: Regime, Opposition, Outsiders (forthcoming, Stanford University Press).