For decades, well-meaning journalists and cultural workers used a humanizing framework in their representation of oppressed people, in hopes of countering the traditional portrayal of the Palestinian as a “terrorist.” Within this framework, a perfect victimhood emerged as an ethnocentric prerequisite for sympathy and solidarity, often over-emphasizing oppressed people’s nonviolence, humane professions, and disabilities. In “Bombs, women, children, etc.”: Humanization, Victimhood, and the Politics of Appeal, El-Kurd unpacks the impact such practices of “defanging,” which reproduce the mainstream cultural order in which Palestinians are robbed of their agency, right to self-determination, and, ultimately, their humanity.
Co-presented by the Middle Eastern Studies Program at Bard College.
Location: RKC 103, Bard College
Mohammed El-Kurd is an internationally touring and award-winning writer from Jerusalem, occupied Palestine. His work has been featured in numerous international outlets and he is currently the Palestine Correspondent for The Nation. RIFQA, his debut collection of poetry, was published by Haymarket Books in the Fall of 2021.
Moderated by Ziad Abu-Rish (Center for Human Rights and the Arts, Bard College)