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Ussama Makdisi – Palestine, Late Colonialism, and the Question of Genocide

May 22 @ 12:15 pm - 1:30 pm  |  Humanities 1, Room 210


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

This talk explores the relationship between modern philozionism in the West and the denialism of the Palestinians. The nineteenth-century European Zionist idea of implanting and sustaining an exclusively Jewish nationalist state in multireligious Palestine was a response to European racial antisemitism. But it was also premised, from the outset, on the erasure of native Palestinian history and the political significance of their centuries-old belonging on their own land.

USSAMA MAKDISI portraitDr. Ussama Makdisi is Professor of History and Chancellor’s Chair at the University of California Berkeley. He has published widely on Ottoman and Arab history as well as on U.S.-Arab relations and U.S. missionary work in the Middle East. Professor Makdisi’s most recent book, Age of Coexistence: The Ecumenical Frame and the Making of the Modern Arab World, was published in 2019 by the University of California Press. He is also the author of Faith Misplaced: the Broken Promise of U.S.-Arab Relations, 1820-2001 (Public Affairs, 2010), The Culture of Sectarianism: Community, History, and Violence in Nineteenth-Century Ottoman Lebanon (University of California Press, 2000), and Artillery of Heaven: American Missionaries and the Failed Conversion of the Middle East (Cornell University Press, 2008), which was the winner of the 2008 Albert Hourani Book Award from the Middle East Studies Association, the 2009 John Hope Franklin Prize of the American Studies Association, and a co-winner of the 2009 British-Kuwait Friendship Society Book Prize given by the British Society for Middle Eastern Studies. Professor Makdisi has also published articles in the Journal of American History, the American Historical Review, the International Journal of Middle East Studies, Comparative Studies in Society and History, and in the Middle East Report. He has held fellowships at the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin (Institute for Advanced Study, Berlin), the Carnegie Corporation, and the American Academy of Berlin.

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 22
12:15 pm - 1:30 pm


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