Celebrating Recent Work by Gil Hochberg

New Books in the Arts and Sciences

February 24, 2022 Thursday, 6:15pm EST Virtual Event
  • Office of the Divisional Deans in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences
  • Middle East Institute
  • Center for Palestine Studies
  • The Society of Fellows and Heyman Center for the Humanities
  • Free and open to the public

Becoming Palestine
by: Gil Hochberg

In Becoming Palestine, Gil Z. Hochberg examines how contemporary Palestinian artists, filmmakers, dancers, and activists use the archive in order to radically imagine Palestine's future. She shows how artists such as Jumana Manna, Kamal Aljafari, Larissa Sansour, Farah Saleh, Basel Abbas, and Ruanne Abou-Rahme reimagine the archive, approaching it not through the desire to unearth hidden knowledge, but to sever the identification of the archive with the past. In their use of archaeology, musical traditions, and archival film and cinematic footage, these artists imagine a Palestinian future unbounded from colonial space and time. By urging readers to think about archives as a break from history rather than as history's repository, Hochberg presents a fundamental reconceptualization of the archive's liberatory potential.

Attendance and Registration Policy:

This event will take place virtually over Zoom. Registration is required.

Please email [email protected] to request disability accommodations. Advance notice is necessary to arrange for some accessibility needs. This event will be recorded. By being electronically present, you consent to the SOF/Heyman using such video for promotional purposes.

About the Author:

Gil Hochberg is Ransford Professor of Hebrew and Comparative Literature, and Middle East Studies at Columbia University and Chair of MESAAS. Her first book, In Spite of Partition: Jews, Arabs, and the Limits of Separatist Imagination examines the complex relationship between the signifiers “Arab” and “Jew” in contemporary Jewish and Arab literatures and cultural imagination. Her second book, Visual Occupations: Vision and Visibility in a Conflict Zone, is a study of the visual politics of the Israeli-Palestinian terrain and the emergence of a “conflict” or the sight of a conflict.

About the Speakers:

Nadia Abu El-Haj is Ann Whitney Olin Professor in the Departments of Anthropology at Barnard College and Columbia University, Co-Director of the Center for Palestine Studies, and Chair of the Governing Board of the Society of Fellows/Heyman Center for the Humanities at Columbia University. Abu El-Haj has published two books: Facts on the Ground: Archaeological Practice and Territorial Self-Fashioning in Israeli Society, which won the Albert Hourani Annual Book Award from the Middle East Studies Association in 2002, and The Genealogical Science: The Search for Jewish Origins and the Politics of Epistemology.

Gayatri Gopinath is an associate professor of Social and Cultural Analysis and director of the Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality at New York University. Gopinath is perhaps best known for her book Impossible Desires: Queer Diasporas and South Asian Public Cultures, which received article-length reviews in a number of journals.

Brian Larkin is the Director of Graduate Studies and a Professor of Anthropology at Barnard College, Columbia University. His research focuses on the ethnography and history of media in Nigeria. Most broadly he examines the introduction of media technologies into Nigeria—cinema, radio, digital media—and the religious, political, and cultural changes they bring about. Larkin is the author of Signal and Noise: Media Infrastructure and Urban Culture in Nigeria and, with Lila Abu-Lughod and Faye Ginsburg, co-editor of Media Worlds: Anthropology on New Terrain.

Debashree Mukherjee is Assistant Professor at MESAAS at Columbia University. Dr. Mukherjee has published in various academic journals and anthologies, and is a core editor with the peer-reviewed journal, BioScope: South Asian Screen Studies. Trained as a filmmaker, she has worked in Bombay’s film and television industries on projects such as Omkara (dir. Vishal Bhardwaj, 2006). Committed to the missions of public and digital humanities, Dr. Mukherjee has curated exhibitions such as “Maya Mahal” (film ephemera from the Priya Paul collection, 2013) and “A Cinematic Imagination,” (production stills from the Josef Wirsching archive, 2017) and is actively involved with the online film annotation platform