SOAS University of London

Centre for Palestine Studies

‘Life in Occupied Palestine’: Accounts of Existence and Other Acts of Resistance

Cynthia Franklin, University of Hawai‘i

Date: 18 February 2015Time: 5:30 PM

Finishes: 18 February 2015Time: 7:00 PM

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings Room: DLT

Type of Event: Lecture

In 'Life in Occupied Palestine’: Accounts of Existence and Other Acts of Resistance, Franklin reflects on how the challenges in editing the special issue of Biography, 'Life in Occupied Palestine', along with the pieces by the contributors themselves, tell a larger story about life in occupied Palestine—the ways in which for Palestinians, existence is resistance. She discusses how, through writing about their lives, contributors to this special issue engage in a struggle for liberation as they contest the dominant narratives upon which US-supported Israeli occupation, settler colonialism, and apartheid depend—narratives that render Palestinians as either agents of terror, or as nonexistent (a productive contradiction upon which Zionism depends). Through telling their stories, then, contributors evidence the significance of life writing, while making a much-needed intervention in the ways Palestine and Palestinian lives are narrated.

Cynthia Franklin is Professor of English at the University of Hawai‘i, where she has taught contemporary US literatures and cultural theory since receiving her PhD in English from UC Berkeley. She is the author of Academic Lives: Memoir, Cultural Theory and the University Today and Writing Women's Communities: The Politics and Poetics of Contemporary Multi-Genre Anthologies. Co-editor of Biography: An Interdisciplinary Quarterly, she has worked on three special issues of the journal, most recently, with Morgan Cooper and Ibrahim Aoude, 'Life in Occupied Palestine'. Articles and review essays appear or are forthcoming in journals including Acoma, American Quarterly, American Studies, Biography, The Contemporary Pacific, Cultural Critique, Gay and Lesbian Quarterly, Life Writing, LIT, MELUS, and in books including Gloria Anzaldúa and AnaLouise Keating's This Bridge We Call Home, Fred Ho's Diary of a Cancer Warrior, and Trauma Texts. Her current book project looks at documentary forms of life writing produced in the United States post-9/11. Work from this project, 'Eichmann and his Ghosts: The Unstable Status of the Human, and Uncivil States', recently appeared in Cultural Critique. She is a member of the Steering Committee for the Organizing Collective for the US Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel.

Chair: Dina Matar, SOAS

Organiser: Centre for Palestine Studies

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Contact Tel: 020 7898 4330 / 4490