Skip to main content


Palestine and the Logic of Denial

General Programming

dateOctober 23, 2023 timeMonday, 6:10pm–8:00pm EDT location The Heyman Center, Second Floor Common Room, Columbia University
  • The Society of Fellows and Heyman Center for the Humanities
  • Center for Palestine Studies
email address [email protected]
  • Registration required. See details.
  • Audience open exclusively to Columbia faculty, graduate instructors, graduate students, undergraduate students, and students
  • Zoom registration open to all. Link in description.

Tinted purple photograph

Join us for a talk by Saree Makdisi about his recent book, Tolerance Is a Wasteland: Palestine and the Culture of Denial (University of California Press, 2022). The question that Tolerance Is a Wasteland aims to answer might seem simple: how can a violent project of dispossession and discrimination be imagined, felt, and profoundly believed in as though it were the exact opposite––an embodiment of sustainability, multicultural tolerance, and democratic idealism? Despite well-documented evidence of racism and human rights abuse, Israel has long been embraced by the most liberal sectors of European and American society as a manifestation of the progressive values of tolerance, plurality, inclusivity, and democracy, and hence a project that can be passionately defended for its lofty ideals.

For more info about Tolerance Is a Wasteland, click here.

Register for our Zoom live stream here.


Saree Makdisi is a Professor of English and Comparative Literature at UCLA. His most recent book is Tolerance Is a Wasteland: Palestine and the Culture of Denial (2022). His other books include Reading William Blake (2015), Making England Western: Occidentalism, Race and Imperial Culture (2014); and Palestine Inside Out: An Everyday Occupation (2010).


Nadia Abu El-Haj is Ann Whitney Olin Professor in the Departments of Anthropology at Barnard College and Columbia University and Co-Director of the Center for Palestine Studies.

Please note: admission will be on a first come, first served basis and registration does not guarantee admission.