About the Book
Is there a link between the colonization of Palestinian lands and the enclosing of Palestinian minds? In his book, The Palestinian Idea, Greg Burris argues that it is precisely through film and media that hope can occasionally emerge amidst hopelessness, emancipation amidst oppression, freedom amidst apartheid. The author employs the work of Edward W. Said, Jacques Rancière, and Cedric J. Robinson in order to locate Palestinian utopia in the heart of the Zionist present. He analyzes the films of prominent directors Annemarie Jacir (Salt of This Sea, When I Saw You) and Hany Abu-Assad (Paradise Now) to investigate the emergence and formation of Palestinian identity. Looking at Mais Darwazah’s documentary My Love Awaits Me by the Sea, Burris considers the counterhistories that make up the Palestinian experience—stories and memories that have otherwise been obscured or denied. He also examines Palestinian (in)visibility in the global media landscape, and how issues of Black-Palestinian transnational solidarity are illustrated through social media, staged news spectacles, and hip hop music.
"A deeply felt, brilliantly conceived, meticulously crafted book, The Palestinian Idea breaks new ground in how we understand vision, space, and identity. Greg Burris's work is an important contribution to Arab and global media studies." —Marwan M. Kraidy, Anthony Shadid Chair in Global Media, Politics and Culture at the University of Pennsylvania and author of The Naked Blogger of Cairo: Creative Insurgency in the Arab World
"Greg Burris has written the book so many people have been waiting for—and he's done it in sharp and readable prose. Situating Palestine in relation to various global revolutionary movements and animating Palestine's own revolutionary identity, Burris has managed the rare feat of producing scholarship that is both timeless and topical. By so thoroughly and imaginatively exploring the idea of Palestine, he illuminates exactly how real Palestine is." —Steven Salaita, author of Israel's Dead Soul
About the Speaker
Greg Burris is a film and cultural theorist whose work focuses on race, media, and emancipatory politics. He is an Assistant Professor of Media Studies at the American University of Beirut, and his writings have appeared in such publications as CineAction, Cinema Journal, The Electronic Intifada, Film Quarterly, The Guardian, Jadaliyya, Middle Eastern Studies, Quarterly Review of Film and Video, and the anthologies Futures of Black Radicalism and Global Raciality: Empire, PostColoniality, and Decoloniality. The Palestinian Idea: Film, Media, and the Radical Imagination is his first book.
This talk is co-sponsored by the Middle East Center at the University of Pennsylvania and Slought.
Lunch begins at 11:45. Space is limited, RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org.