Tuesday, November 28, 2023
Hegeman 204A 6:00 pm EST/GMT-5
Hamas’ attack on October 7 and Israel’s invasion of Gaza have had a profound impact on Israel, Palestine, and far beyond. How might we consider these events in the context of the history of Zionism, of the Arab-Israeli conflict, and of antisemitism?
We hope that an important part of the discussion will be questions from those attending about current events and the long, complex evolution that produced them. We will respond as best we can from our various perspectives.
Cecile E. Kuznitz, Patricia Ross Weis '52 Chair in Jewish History and Culture
Joel Perlmann, Professor, Bard College and Senior Scholar, Levy Institute
Shai Secunda, Jacob Neusner Professor of Judaism, moderator
Wednesday, November 15, 2023
Reem-Kayden Center Laszlo Z. Bito '60 Auditorium 4:00 pm – 5:30 pm EST/GMT-5
The Human Rights Project invites the Bard community to an open Q&A event on the war on Gaza, its broader context, and its reverberations in the United States.
Please join us on Wednesday, November 15 at 4:00 pm in RKC 103.
When we say Q&A, we mean it. The event will be centered around multiple rounds of questions from the audience, which can be asked out loud or submitted anonymously via note cards that will be distributed during the event.
The three faculty panelists Ziad Abu-Rish (Human Rights and Middle East Studies), Miriam Felton-Dansky (Theater and Performance), and Mie Inouye (Politics) will also reflect briefly on how they came to hold the views they do and the challenges of staking out an explicit stance.
Wednesday, November 8, 2023
Naiima Khahaifa, Guarini Fellow
Departments of Geography and
African and African-American Studies
Olin 102 5:15 pm EST/GMT-5
Mass incarceration, characterized by unprecedented prison population growth in the US and a disproportionately large representation of Black men, has garnered much scholarly attention; however, a parallel increase in the proportion of Black correctional officers (COs) has not yet received the same consideration. During the early 1970s, demands made by the Prisoners’ Rights Movement led to the recruitment of thousands of Black men and women into the US correctional workforce over the following decades. Thus, focusing on New York State, I argue that as correctional workforce integration redefined the state’s prison system and broader carceral geography, the racialized process of mass incarceration came to depend on the labor of Black COs. Based on a qualitative analysis of life/occupational history interviews with Black COs in Buffalo, NY, recruited between the late 1970s and early 1990s, I find that dynamics of race, class, and gender shape relationships between Black COs and incarcerated individuals as their day-to-day encounters cultivated cooperation and consent in an otherwise volatile prison environment. Deriving from notions of community policing and fictive kinship, I developed the concept of carceral kinship, which refers to the formation of familial-like bonds that appeared the strongest between Black women COs and Black incarcerated men. This concept matters because it reveals the intricate dynamics and micro-politics of prison spaces and how carceral geographies rely on intimate, empathetic, and emotional care work that is profoundly raced and gendered.
Thursday, November 2, 2023
Reem-Kayden Center Room 103 4:00 pm – 5:30 pm EDT/GMT-4
Join us for a talk by Mariana Katzarova, the first-ever appointed UN special rapporteur on human rights in Russia. Her talk will focus on the deteriorating human rights conditions in the country and the challenges to her fact-finding mission.
We are privileged to have Mariana Katzarova join us on campus, directly from presenting the results of her fact-finding mission at the United Nations. She is the first person to hold the position of special rapporteur on human rights in Russia, an appointment that is the latest chapter in a remarkable career in human rights advocacy, as the biography below details. This is a rare opportunity to hear firsthand from one of the world's leading authorities on human rights in Russia.
Mariana Katzarova was appointed as special rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Russian Federation by the UN Human Rights Council on 4 April 2023. She officially assumed her function on 1 May 2023. Ms. Katzarova led the UN Human Rights Council mandated examination of the human rights situation in Belarus, in 2021-22. During the first 2 years of the armed conflict in Ukraine (in 2014-16), she led the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission team in Donbas as head of the regional office in Eastern Ukraine. For a decade she headed the Amnesty International investigations of human rights in Russia and the two Chechnya conflicts. With the Lawyers’ Committee for Human Rights, she focused on the war in Bosnia and the creation of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY). Ms. Katzarova founded RAW in WAR (Reach All Women in War) in 2006 after working as a journalist and human rights investigator in the war zones of Bosnia, Kosovo and Chechnya. At RAW, she established the annual Anna Politkovskaya Award for women human rights defenders working in war and conflict zones. She was Advisor to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on combating human trafficking, and a senior advisor at the OSCE (Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe).
Thursday, October 26, 2023
Bard Center for the Study of Hate Program
Olin Humanities, Room 205 5:00 pm – 6:30 pm EDT/GMT-4
A discussion with Christopher McIntosh, assistant professor of political science, and Kenneth Stern, director of the Bard Center for the Study of Hate, moderated by Rabbi Joshua Boettiger, Jewish chaplain and visiting assistant professor of the humanities.
Tuesday, October 24, 2023
Reem-Kayden Center Laszlo Z. Bito '60 Auditorium 5:15 pm – 6:45 pm EDT/GMT-4
We are very happy to welcome Nathan Thrall to Bard for a conversation between him and Abed Salama, the protagonist of Thrall's book A Day in the Life of Abed Salama: Anatomy of a Jerusalem Tragedy (Metropolitan Books). This event is sponsored by the Human Rights and Middle Eastern Studies Programs. You can read and listen to an excerpt from the book here.
In his book, the struggle over Israel-Palestine is rendered at the human scale through the terrible story of a school bus accident that killed Abed’s five-year-old son Milad. Placing the personal narrative in the context of structural forces, A Day in the Life of Abed Salama elucidates the daily injustices faced by the roughly 3.2 million Palestinians living in the West Bank. Richly reported and deeply researched, the book cuts through the abstractions of 'the conflict' and 'the occupation' with a visceral and bracing account of an apparently exceptional event that reveals the painful realities of everyday life for Palestinians.
We have been planning this event for months, but it now takes on special relevance given the unfolding events in the Gaza Strip. As a recent review in the Guardian put it, "it feels hard to recommend reading material against such a backdrop, but a book such as A Day in the Life of Abed Salama brims over with just the sort of compassion and understanding that is needed at a time like this. ... Thrall looks at the Israel/Palestine conflict with unflinching clarity and quiet anger, but above all, with nuance. At a time when facts have become weapons in this seemingly endless conflict, this is a book that speaks with deep and authentic truth of ordinary lives trapped in the jaws of history."
Copies of the book will be available for purchase.
Nathan Thrall is the author of The Only Language They Understand: Forcing Compromise in Israel and Palestine (Metropolitan, 2017), and has written extensively on the region in the New York Times Magazine, the Guardian, the London Review of Books, and the New York Review of Books. He spent a decade at the International Crisis Group, where he was director of the Arab-Israeli Project. He lives in Jerusalem.
Abed Salama is a Palestinian living under Israeli rule in the enclave of Anata in greater Jerusalem. Salama’s story of losing his five-year-old son Milad in a harrowing school bus accident provides the framework for Thrall’s depiction of Israel/Palestine.
Tuesday, September 26, 2023
Guest lecturers Kareem Abdulrahman and Bachtyar Ali
Hegeman 201 5:00 pm – 6:30 pm EDT/GMT-4
Politics has at least two faces in the works of Iraqi Kurdish novelist Bachtyar Ali. While his characters are in a constant search to prove their humanity, politics often appears as a barrier in that search. In The Last Pomegranate Tree, for example, a meditation on fatherhood is intertwined with the discovery of increasing corruption in political leadership. Why does salvation seem to fall beyond politics? Given the recent history of Iraqi Kurdistan, what is the significance of politics in literature? Yet another face is the politics of literature: Kurdish language has lived on the margins of the more dominant languages in the Middle East for centuries. In this context, literary translation could be seen as an effort to put the Kurds, the largest minority group without their own nation state, on the cultural map of the world. Here the expression that the translator is a “traitor” may ring hollow when the translator appears first of all as an activist with loyalties. What then are the politics of translating Kurdish literature in the contemporary world? This event invites conversation and reflection with a novelist and his translator.
Tuesday, April 4, 2023
with speakers June Nemon and leaders from the Stony Run Tenants Union
Olin Humanities, Room 102 5:10 pm – 6:30 pm EDT/GMT-4
This event is part of the Political Organizing Speaker Series, Spring 2023
Thursday, March 16, 2023
with speakers Becky Simonsen and Puya Gerami
Olin Humanities, Room 203 5:10 pm – 6:30 pm EDT/GMT-4
More information on the work of these speakers can be found here.
This event is part of the Political Organizing Speaker Series, Spring 2023
Wednesday, February 22, 2023
Professor J.T. Roane, assistant professor of geography at Rutgers University-New Brunswick
Reem-Kayden Center Laszlo Z. Bito '60 Auditorium 5:00 pm – 6:30 pm EST/GMT-5
This talk is drawn from Roane's recently published book, Dark Agoras: Insurgent Black Social Life and the Politics of Place (NYU Press, 2023). Roane shows how working-class Black communities cultivated insurgent assembly—dark agoras—in twentieth century Philadelphia. He investigates the ways they transposed rural imaginaries about and practices of place as part of their spatial resistances and efforts to contour industrial neighborhoods. In acts that ranged from the mundane refashioning of intimate spaces to confrontations over the city's social and ecological arrangement, Black communities challenged the imposition of Progressive visions for urban order seeking to enclose or displace them.