In her work on precarious lives, Judith Butler asks the central question of “how does a new subject emerge, contingently, that is, non-deterministically, from the ravages of war?”
This presentation addresses that crucial question by focusing on Palestinian women refugees and their memories of displacement. It aims to offer a radically alternative vision to contemporary pervasive representations of women’s bodies in war and displacement: the suffering, powerless and de-humanised bodies of “women-who-flee”, and the hyper-empowered and militarised bodies of “women-who-fight”. Here the focus is on women’s bodies that strive to reconstruct home and the ordinary through powerful acts of love, trespassing the private and the public spheres. The presentation will reflect on how bodies and landscapes connect and disconnect at violent junctures and on the vital force of “home", understood as ecological, material and human habitat, as opposed to homeland.
Ruba Salih is associate professor (Reader) in Gender Studies at the Department of Anthropology and Sociology of the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) University of London. Her research interests and writing cover transnational migration and gender across Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, the Palestine question and refugees. She is an elected member of the Board of Trustees of the Arab Council for the Social Sciences and a founder of its sub-committee for academic freedom in the Arab region. She is the author of Gender in Transnationalism. Home, Longing and belonging among Moroccan Migrant Women (Routledge) and of Musulmane rivelate. Donne, Islam, modernità (Carrocci), winner of the Premio Pozzale 2011. Currently she is working on a book titled: Palestinian Refugees. The politics of exile and the politics of return (with Sophie Richter-Devroe) (Cambridge University Press).
The event is free and open to the public. Registration is not required. The event will be followed by drinks.