"REVISING NARRATIVES, CRITIQUING THE CANON:
Palestine and the Feminist Paradigms"
Speaker: Dr. Rabab Ibrahim Abdulhadi, PhD
Senior Scholar, Arab and Muslim Ethnicities and Diasporas Initiative and Associate Professor, Race and Resistance Studies at the College of Ethnic Studies, San Francisco State University.
Drawing on years of field research in Palestine, my lecture challenges two assumptions of the academic literature in the post-conflict context. Scholars from sociology and political science have argued that in contrast to the chaos of conflict-ridden anti-colonial liberation movements a more tolerant political system emerged through democratic interaction and the flourishing of civil society. First, I contend with the assumption that the masculinist impulses of nationalism view women as less than equal participants in national movements who reproduce boundaries of national groups, symbolize national difference, or are dupes seduced by the sexual prowess of the hyper-masculine figure of the “terrorist.” Second, I contest the assumption that as national movements turn their attention to state building and charismatic leadership is routinized, order settles in and public spaces expand, meaning that a thriving civil society is a mark of state-building and not of national movements. Through a historical and contextual analysis of Palestinian feminist activism I argue for a different conception of the Palestinian liberation movement.