Event Details Day: 24/11/2008
SOAS Palestine Society
THE RETURNS OF ZIONISM
Myths, Politics and Scholarship in Israel
Monday 24th Nov
SOAS Main Building
In this original and wide-ranging study, Gabriel Piterberg examines the ideology and literature behind the colonization of Palestine, from the late nineteenth century to the present. Exploring Zionism's origins in Central-Eastern European nationalism and settler movements, he shows how its texts can be placed within a wider discourse of western colonization. Piterberg revisits the work of Theodor Herzl, Gershom Scholem, Anita Shapira and David Ben-Gurion, among other thinkers influential in the formation of the Zionist myth, to break open prevailing views of Zionism. He demonstrates that it was in fact unexceptional, expressing a consciousness and imagination typical of colonial settler movement. Shaped by European ideological currents and the realities of colonial life, Zionism constructed its own story as a unique and impregnable one, in the process excluding the voices of an indigenous people - the Palestinian Arabs.
About the Author
GABRIEL PITERBERG teaches history at UCLA, and has taught at St Antony's and Balliol Colleges, Oxford. His previous books include An Ottoman Tragedy: History and Historiography at Play. He writes for the New Left Review and the London Review of Books.
SOAS Palestine Society
Russell Square, London
CALL US: 020 7269 9030
London Review Bookshop: 14 Bury Place, London, WC1A 2JL. 020 7269 9030
Thursday 27 November at 7.00 pm
2008 marks 60 years of the Palestinian Nakba, when over a million
Palestinians were forcefully exiled from their cities and villages,
civilians were slaughtered and their homes razed to the ground. In The
Returns of Zionism (Verso), Piterberg examines the ideology,
literature and myth behind this colonisation and, by revisiting the
work of foundational scholars such as Theodor Herzl and Ben Gurion,
and exploring the movement’s origins in central-eastern European
nationalism, breaks open the prevailing views of Zionism.
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Gabi Piterberg was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and grew up in Israel. He graduated at Tel Aviv University, where he majored in Middle East history and political science (BA), and Middle East and European history (MA). His D.Phil. in the history of the Ottoman Empire is from the University of Oxford. He taught at the University of Durham, England, and Ben Gurion University of the Negev in Israel.
Piterberg writes and teaches on the history of the Ottoman Empire and the Mediterranean in the early modern period, and modern themes like colonialism, Zionism, and Palestine/Israel. He writes for the New Left Review and London Review of Books