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10 Dec
Jerry H. Labowitz Theatre for the Performing Arts
Dec 10, 2012 | 6:00 PM-8:00 PM


Visual Occupations: The Politics of Visibility and Invisibility in Palestine/Israel


Visual Occupations advances a set of arguments about the visual economy of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, positing that it must be understood as the outcome of an interchange between several competing visual fields: the state-controlled (Israeli) visual field; the counter-visual fields produced in direct response to military occupation from within and outside the occupied territories; and the global visual field produced by various different networks, including human right organizations, the neo-liberal global commercial market and global tourism (“disaster tourism”).

Building in part on Jacque Rancière’s understanding of politics as “a question of aesthetics and a matter of appearances,” this talk will follow some possibilities for effective political acts in terms of intervention into hegemonic and dominant visual fields—an intervention that centers on altering the borders and common distribution of the seeable.

About the Speaker
Gil Hochberg is associate professor of comparative literature and director of the graduate program at the University of California, Los Angeles. Her work focuses on the intersections of psychoanalysis, postcolonial theory, nationalism and sexuality. She has published essays on a wide range of issues including: Francophone North African literature, Palestinian literature, the modern Levant, gender and nationalism, cultural memory and immigration, memory and gender, Language Politics, Hebrew Literature, Mediterraneansism and Minority literatures.

Her book In Spite of Partition: Jews, Arabs, and the Limits of Separatist Imagination (Princeton University Press, 2007) examines the complex relationship between the signifiers “Arab” and “Jew” in contemporary Jewish and Arab literatures. Her current book project is a study of the Visual Politics of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict titled Visual Occupations: Violence, Visibility & Visuality at a Conflict Zone.