The Julis-Rabinowitz Program on Jewish and Israeli Law at Harvard Law School
“Anthropology, Settlers and Natives: A Lecture in Memory of Dr. David J. Landes”
Professor Assaf Harel (Binghamton University)
Wednesday, 12 February 2020 at 6pm
Harvard Law School
1585 Massachusetts Ave
This anthropologically-oriented talk, in memory of Dr. David J. Landes (1956-2019), is concerned with ‘settler’ and ‘native’ as categories of identity in the Israeli-Palestinian space. In particular, it looks at these categories through examination of Jewish ways of belonging to land and place, which range from kippah-wearing to settlement construction in the West Bank. In doing this, I seek to shed light on an entanglement of Jewish difference with contemporary theory and its Israeli/Palestinian politics. This entanglement, I suggest, needs to be reckoned with when thinking about People, place and their possible futures.
Assaf Harel is an Assistant Professor of Israel Studies at Binghamton University. He is a sociocultural anthropologist who conducted ethnographic fieldwork among Israeli settlers and Palestinians in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. His work examines relations between Jewish Messianism and settlement practices. Born and raised in Israel, he received his B.A. from UC Berkeley and his M.A. and Ph.D. rom Rutgers University. His articles were published in scholarly venues such as *Journal of Royal Anthropological Institute* and *Anthropology Now* as well as more popular venues such as *Haaretz* and *Makor Rishon* newspapers. These days he is completing a book manuscript entitled, *The Lives of Jewish Settlers: West Bank Messianism and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict*.
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