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Mjriam Abu Samra – New Horizons in Struggle: The Role of Transnational Palestinian Youth in Decolonial Politics

May 29 @ 12:15 pm - 1:30 pm  |  Humanities 1, Room 210


Co-sponsored by the Center for the Middle East and North Africa (CMENA)

It seems we are living and witnessing a historical moment in the politics of “the Palestine Question.” No matter what analytical framework or political perspective is invoked, no matter the profound disagreement that can emerge in reading not only the current phase but also the historical context, there is a shared agreement that this is a moment of rupture from the discourses and strategies that, for the past 30 years, have dominated the approach to, and understanding of, Palestine at the international level. A polarised environment has re-emerged with many comparing the current anti-Palestinian and anti-Muslim discourse—pushed by the government and sustained by its support for Israel and stigmatisation of solidarity with Palestine—to the 9/11 context. At the popular level, however, a stronger movement keeps developing in solidarity with Palestinians, led by Palestinian youth movements transnationally. How has Palestinian youth political engagement been impacted by the current developments in Palestine and in the international system? What are the discourses they are articulating and how are they different from previous rhetoric? What are the strategies of mobilisation that they are using? Is there a rupture or can any continuity be identified with the political engagement of older Palestinian generations in Diaspora? My presentation attempts to answers these questions by analysing current and ongoing practices of political mobilisation of Palestinian youth in the US, discussing the potential role they can play in the political development of the Palestinian movement.

MJRIAM ABU SAMRA portraitMjriam Abu Samra will be joining the department of Anthropology at UC Davis with ties to the program in Middle East/South Asian Studies as a Marie Sklodowska-Curie Postdoctoral Fellow through the cooperation with her hosting institution, the Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, Italy –Department of Philosophy and Cultural Heritage. Mjriam received her Ph.D. from the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Oxford, UK and her MA in Middle East Politics from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), UK. Her research focuses on Palestinian transnational student and youth politics and Third World solidarities. Her work intervenes in the critical study of refugees, colonialisms, social movements and it is grounded on critical theories on subalternity and decolonization building on Gramsci and Fanon contribution to post-colonial studies. As a MSC Postdoctoral Fellow Mjriam will be exploring the political potential of contemporary Palestinian transnational youth activism in the United States and Europe through an historical comparative lens. Mjriam has publications in the Revue des Mondes Musulmans et de la Méditerranée and the Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies.

The Center for Cultural Studies hosts a weekly Wednesday colloquium featuring work by faculty and visitors. We gather at 12:00 PM, with presentations beginning at 12:15 PM. Staff assistance is provided by The Humanities Institute.


May 29
12:15 pm - 1:30 pm


Humanities 1, Room 210
1156 high st
Santa cruz, CA 95060 United States
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