Katherine Natanel recently earned her PhD in Gender Studies from SOAS, University of London and is currently a Senior Teaching Fellow at the SOAS Centre for Gender Studies. Katherine convenes the MA Gender Studies core course ‘Gender Theory and the Study of Asia, Africa and the Middle East’, and additionally lectures on ‘Gender in the Middle East’ and the MPhil Research Methods Seminar; she additionally acts as MA admissions tutor. Katherine’s research and teaching draw upon her background in Women’s Studies (BA, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2001) Near and Middle Eastern Studies (MA, SOAS, 2009) and Gender Studies (PhD, SOAS 2014), as well as her training in anthropological research methods.
Grants & Awards
- Shortlist, Feminist and Women’s Studies Association (UK & Ireland) 2012 Student Essay Competition
- Research Student Fellowship from SOAS, University of London, awarded 2009-2012
- Overseas Research Student Award from SOAS, University of London, awarded 2009-2012
- Additional Award for Fieldwork from SOAS, University of London, awarded 2010
- Central Research Fund Fieldwork Grant from the University of London, awarded 2010
- Language Acquisition Fund Training Grant from the Faculty of Languages and Cultures at SOAS, University of London, awarded 2010
Ma la’asot? ‘What can we do?’
Spoken with a sigh and a shrug of the shoulders, this sentiment often brings to a close the tense pause which follows discussions of ha sichsuch, ‘the quarrel,’ in Israel-Palestine. As expressed by Leftist Jewish Israelis, the phrase ma la’asot becomes a way of conveying political emotions of despair, helplessness and disappointment at the same time as it presents a practical question of power. Faced with the seeming intractability of conflict, the interminability of a stalled peace process and increasing social and political conservatism, those Jewish Israelis opposed to Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian Territories find themselves at loose ends: what to do indeed?
While an extensive body of research critically engages with ‘the Israeli-Palestinian conflict’ through lenses including history, political economy and activism, this research project shifts focus to the production of stasis. Drawing upon one year of ethnographic research conducted in 2010-2011 with Jewish Israelis living in Tel Aviv and West Jerusalem, this thesis explores the processes, practices and beliefs that sustain normalcy in conditions of conflict. Central to this investigation is gender – as an aspect of subjectivity, relation of power and ordering principle of state and society, gender is integral to the conduct of everyday life and the maintenance of political realities. Thus, this thesis asks what a gender analysis of Jewish Israeli society might tell us about the trajectory of ‘Israel-Palestine,’ what the textures of normalcy, apathy and stasis mean for our visions of the future.
Moving through degrees of division and entanglement, modes of avoidance and activism, sites of investment and withdrawal, and instantiations of normalcy and rupture, this research project foregrounds the gendered subjectivities and sociality central to the production and maintenance of power in Israel-Palestine. By attempting to unpick to relationship between gender and political stasis, this project ultimately looks to domination in hopes of finding new paths to transformation.
- Natanel, K. (2013) ‘Living in the Garden of Perhaps: Ordinary Life as an Obstacle to Political Change in Israel’, Journal of International Women’s Studies, Vol. 14, Issue 4, pp. 19-33
- Natanel, K. (2012) ‘Resistance at the Limits: Feminist Activism and Conscientious Objection in Israel.' Feminist Review, Issue 101: Special Issue on Conflict (July 2012), pp. 78-96
- Natanel, K. (2013) ‘Review of Nimo’s War, Emma’s War: Making Feminist Sense of the Iraq War, by Cynthia Enloe’, Review of Middle East Studies, Vol. 47, No.1, pp. 93-94
- Natanel, K. (2012) ‘Review of Women in Israel: Race, Gender and Citizenship, by Nahla Abdo.” Feminist Review
- Natanel, K. (2011) ‘Review of Militarization and Violence Against Women in Conflict
Zones in the Middle East: A Palestinian Case Study, by Nadera Shalhoub-Kevorkian.’ International Feminist Journal of Politics, Vol. 13, No. 4 (December 2011), pp. 625-627
Natanel, K. (2013) ‘“This American Life” in Israel-Palestine’, Open Democracy 50.50
- ‘Sustaining Conflict: Gender, Apathy and Domination in Israel/Palestine’ (2014). Paper presented at theWorld Congress for Middle Eastern Studies (WOCMES) in Ankara, Turkey, August 2014.
- ‘Normalcy and the Logics of Domination: Methodological Queries for Feminist Research’ (2014). Paper presented at the International Studies Association (ISA) annual conference in Toronto, Canada, March 2014.
- ‘Embedded (In)action: Feminist Activism and the Limits of Hegemony in Israel’ (2013). Paper presented at the Feminist and Women’s Studies Association (UK & Ireland) biennial conference in Nottingham, UK, June 2013.
- ‘Engaging (In)action: Thinking Space and Place in Israel-Palestine’ (2013). Paper presented at the SOAS Centre for Gender Studies ‘Border Crossings’ workshop in London, UK, May 2013.
- ‘Violent Epistemologies: (Re)constructing Conflict, Agency and Power in Gender Studies Tuition’ (2013). Paper presented at the International Studies Association (ISA) annual conference in San Francisco, California, April 2013.
- ‘Living in the Garden of Perhaps: Ordinary Life as an Obstacle to Political Change in Israel’ (2012). Paper presented at the Middle East Studies Association (MESA) annual conference in Denver, Colorado, November 2012.
- ‘New Perspectives on Studying Gender in the Middle East’ (2012). Thematic conversation conducted at the Middle East Studies Association (MESA) annual conference in Denver, Colorado, November 2012.
- ‘The People Demand: Sovereignty, Subjectivity, and Domination in Israel-Palestine’ (2012). Paper presented at the British International Studies Association (BISA) annual conference in Edinburgh, June 2012
- ‘“The Privilege to Feel it When We Want To”: Gender and Political Apathy in Israel’ (2011). Paper presented at the Middle East Studies Association (MESA) annual conference in Washington, D.C., December 2011.
- ‘Reflexive Thinking in Qualitative Gender Studies Research’ (2011). Presentation at the MSc Gender and Development Methodology Seminar, London School of Economics and Political Science, November 2011.
- ‘Active Disengagement: A Gender Analysis of Political Apathy in Israel’ (2011). Paper presented at the Ethnography and History of Southwest Asia and North Africa (SWANA) Seminar Series, London School of Economics and Political Science, October 2011.
- ‘(Dis)engagement and (In)action: A Gendered Approach to Political Apathy in Israel [Preliminary Fieldwork Findings]’ (2011). Paper presented at the Institute of Women’s Studies, Birzeit University, Occupied Palestinian Territories, September 2011.
- ‘Beyond ‘Women’ and ‘Men’: Using Gender to Explore Power and Politics’ (2011). Presentation at the Centre for Gender Studies, SOAS, University of London, March 2011.
- International Studies Association (ISA)
- Feminist and Women’s Studies Association (UK & Ireland)
- Association for Middle East Women’s Studies (AMEWS)
- Middle East Studies Association (MESA)
- British Society for Middle Eastern Studies (BRISMES)
- Centre for Palestine Studies, SOAS – Associate Member
- University and Colleges Union (UCU)
- British Sociological Association