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Marcus Bierich Lecture in the Humanities

The Moral Triangle: Germans, Israelis, Palestinians in Berlin

Online Event with Katharina Galor and Sa’ed Atshan, moderated by Gökçe Yurdakul

Berlin is home to Europe’s largest Palestinian diaspora community and one of the world’s largest Israeli diaspora communities. Germany’s guilt about the Nazi Holocaust has led to a public disavowal of anti-Semitism and strong support for the Israeli state. Meanwhile, Palestinians in Berlin report experiencing increasing levels of racism and Islamophobia. In their new book, The Moral Triangle: Germans, Israelis, Palestinians (Duke University Press), Sa’ed Atshan and Katharina Galor draw on ethnographic fieldwork and interviews with Israelis, Palestinians, and Germans in Berlin to explore these asymmetric relationships in the context of official German policies, public discourse, and the private sphere. They show how these relationships stem from narratives surrounding moral responsibility, the Holocaust, the Israel–Palestine conflict as well as Germany’s recent welcoming of Middle Eastern refugees.

Moderated by Gökçe Yurdakul, Georg Simmel Professor of Diversity and Social Conflict, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

Please note this lecture will take place entirely online. To join, please register on the left side of this page. All registered guests will receive participation instructions one to two days prior to the event.

Katharina Galor is an art historian and archaeologist specializing in the visual and material culture of Israel-Palestine. She is currently the Visiting Hirschfeld Associate Professor at Brown University with a joint appointment in the Program of Judaic Studies and the Program of Urban Studies. Galore has also taught at the Hebrew University, Ecole biblique et archéologique française in Jerusalem, Tufts University, Rhode Island School of Design, and, most recently, at Humboldt University in Berlin. Her publications include The Archaeology of Jerusalem: From the Origins to the Ottomans (co-authored with Hanswulf Bloedhorn; Yale University Press, 2013), Finding Jerusalem: Archaeology Between Science and Ideology (University of California Press, 2017), and, with Sa’ed Atshan, The Moral Triangle: Germans, Israelis, Palestinians (Duke University Press, 2020). She is currently at work on Jewish Women: Portraits of Conformity and Agency, a project supported by a grant from the Leo Baeck Institute, Berlin.  

Sa’ed Atshan is an Assistant Professor of Peace and Conflict Studies at Swarthmore College. He is spending the 2020-2021 academic year as a Visiting Professor of Anthropology and Visiting Scholar in Middle Eastern Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. He previously served as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Watson Institute for International Studies at Brown University.  He earned a Joint Ph.D. in Anthropology and Middle Eastern Studies and an MA in Social Anthropology from Harvard University, and a Master in Public Policy (MPP) degree from the Harvard Kennedy School.  He received his BA from Swarthmore in 2006. His research interests are at the intersection of peace and conflict studies, the anthropology of policy, critical development studies and gender and sexuality studies. He has two recent books, both of which were published in the Spring 2020. Queer Palestine and the Empire of Critique (Stanford University Press) and the co-authored (with Katharina Galor) The Moral Triangle: Germans, Israelis, Palestinians (Duke University Press). Atshan has been awarded multiple grants and fellowships, including from the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation, Open Society Foundations, National Science Foundation, Social Science Research Council, Woodrow Wilson National Foundation, Andrew Mellon Foundation, and the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation. He is also the recipient of a Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowship and a Kathryn Davis Fellowship for Peace. He has worked for the American Civil Liberties Union, the United Nations High Commission on Refugees, Human Rights Watch, Seeds of Peace, the Palestinian Negotiations Affairs Department, and the Government of Dubai.  He is also a Palestinian, Quaker, and LGBTQ human rights activist.

Gökçe Yurdakul is Georg-Simmel Professor of Diversity and Social Conflict at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin and chair of research cluster in the Berlin Institute of Migration and Integration Research (BIM). She has published books and  articles on immigrant integration, citizenship and Islam in Europe, and Muslim women’s issues in Western Europe and North America. Her most recent book is The Headscarf Debates: Conflicts of National Belonging (2014, Stanford University Press, with Anna Korteweg). Her research has been supported by the SSHRC (2010), German-Israeli Foundation (2019), Berlin University Alliance (2020) and German Center for Migration and Integration Research (DeZIM, 2020) among others.  In 2019, Yurdakul was Weatherhead Scholar at the Harvard University’s Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Research Cluster on Comparative Inequalities and Inclusions, where she remains as an associated fellow. She is the co-chair of the immigration research network at the Council for European Studies.

11 Nov 20
Social Sciences
19:30 - 21:00
Online via Zoom (7:30 p.m. CET / 1:30 ET)

This event took place on November 11, 2020.

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