Talk: 1948 —To De-Nakbafy Sanat al-Iḥtilāl, 'The Year of Occupation'
October 5, 2018
4:30 pm-6:30 pm
UMass Amherst Campus
1948: To De-Nakbafy Sanat al-Iḥtilāl, "The Year of Occupation”
Keynote talk by Anton Shammas
In 1948, “the year of iḥtilāl/occupation,” the Palestinians were pushed out of history, out of time, suppressed into the unconscious of the Jewish state and, in the cartography of catastrophes, Palestine was mapped out while Israel was mapped in. In a series of personal reflections, this talk will argue that, unlike a Nakbah, an occupation can, theoretically speaking, be undone; that instead of a timeless, abstract notion of catastrophe that leaves the culprit outside the semantic field of the crime, as if it was an irreversible act of nature, iḥtilāl/occupation marks a signified in a concrete, contiguous manner, de-Nakbafying 1948 and connecting it to 1967, ever threatening to cross the bar into Israeli consciousness, back into time and history.
A Professor of Comparative Literature and Middle East Studies at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, since 1997, Anton Shammas is a Palestinian writer and translator of Arabic, Hebrew and English. His publications include a novel in Hebrew (translated into 9 languages), two collections of poems and a book for children in Hebrew; a collection of poems in Arabic; and many articles, essays and translations in the three languages. He is currently working on a book manuscript: "Blind Spots and other essays on translation."
This event is co-sponsored by the Institute for Holocaust, Genocide, and Memory Studies at UMass Amherst, UMass Department of History, UMass Program in Comparative Literature, and UMass Department of Judaic and Near Eastern Studies.