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Palestine and the Origins of Afro-Asian Thought

Thursday Lecture Series, Alternatives/Concessions

dateMarch 21, 2024 timeThursday, 12:15pm–2:00pm EDT location The Heyman Center, Second Floor Common Room, Columbia University
  • The Society of Fellows and Heyman Center for the Humanities
email address [email protected]
  • Free and open to the public
  • Registration required.
impressionist drawing of armed men

What role has Palestine played as a place and an idea in the intellectual history of Afro-Asia, the Third World, and the Global South? What practices of scholarship or solidarity have been obscured by imperial myopia and colonial historiography? This talk moves between Palestine and the world, especially South Asia, to consider the language and history of decolonization’s forms of knowledge. This knowledge was and remains under serious threat, given present efforts to destroy and dominate Palestine and Palestinians. Esmat Elhalaby will focus principally on Arab and Indian travel and translation produced during and after the 1947/48 partitions of British Palestine and British India. An effort will be made to link the content of this thought with its conditions.


Esmat Elhalaby is an Assistant Professor of Transnational History. He works principally on the intellectual history of West and South Asia. His writing has appeared in Modern Intellectual History, American Quarterly, Michigan Quarterly Review, Dissent, Boston Review, and elsewhere. Before joining the University of Toronto, Esmat held postdoctoral fellowships at the University of California, Davis, and NYU Abu Dhabi.

Please email [email protected] to request disability accommodations. Advance notice is necessary to arrange for some accessibility needs.