Southampton-style pseudo-academic anti-Israel conference to take place at Exeter

Nearly four months after a Southampton University conference questioning Israel’s right to exist was cancelled on public order grounds, the University of Exeter is organizing a “Conference on Settler Colonialism in Palestine & Workshop on the Naqab Bedouin“.

Here’s a blurb from the conference website:

The study of settler colonialism as an historical, geographical and political formation is attracting the attention of more and more scholars around the globe. Our effort will be oriented towards the examination of the settler colonial paradigm’s validity in the context of Palestine. The organisers encourage interdisciplinary and comparative approaches to the study of settler colonialism in Palestine, so as to build bridges between settler colonial studies and other disciplines, as well as to challenge Israel’s alleged exceptionality.

Confirmed speakers include:

  • Prof. Nur Masalha, St Mary’s University, Twickenham, London, UK.
  • Prof. Ilan Pappe, University of Exeter, UK.
  • Dr. Marcelo Svirsky, University of Wollogong, Australia.
  • Prof. Lorenzo Veracini, Swinburne University

In addition to the inclusion of the radical “historian” Ilan Pappe, it’s quite telling that the conference also includes Dr. Marcelo Svirsky, whose book ‘After Israel appears to call for an end to the ‘Zionist project’ in Palestine.

Here are the topics to be discussed at the conference:

  • What is the nature of Israel’s colonisation of Palestine? How does it manifest itself in different political, economic, social, as well as material and ideational arenas?
  • How do settler colonial structures affect different forms of resistance?
  • How are settler colonial narratives articulated (and disarticulated)?
  • How has Israel’s settler colonial project impacted upon Palestine’s social, demographic, political and economic landscapes?
  • How does settler colonialism intersect with global processes such as neo-liberalism, imperialism and war?
  • How does Israeli settler-colonialism relate to the Israeli nation-state building project?
  • How does resistance against the settler colonial regime by the indigenous Palestinian population relate to and articulate itself within/vis-à-vis the Palestinian national struggle?

Most troubling is the fact that the conference, scheduled for early October, is being financed by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), a public body – incorporated by Royal Charter – sponsored by the UK Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.


We’ll update you as we learn more about the Exeter conference.


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