Public Event – Thomas Abowd

Jerusalem, on the Moving Edge of Israeli Colonial Rule

What kinds of barriers—physical, legal, and discursive—operate to keep Israeli-occupied Jerusalem a city of immense separation and inequality? In this presentation, urban anthropologist, historian, and author Thomas Abowd will analyze how colonialism and colonial urbanism remain a crucial component of contemporary Palestinian and Israeli realities. Abowd will illuminate everyday life as well as the broader institutional forces that comprise and enable Israeli urban policy in Jerusalem, and address the multiple expressions of anti-racism and resistance to colonial and military rule in the city most contested by Palestinians and Israelis since 1948.

Thomas Abowd is an urban anthropologist and historian who received his PhD in Cultural Anthropology from Columbia University. He teaches in the Race, Colonialism, and Diaspora Program at Tufts as well as American Studies and Anthropology. His book on spatial politics and colonial urbanism in Israeli-occupied Jerusalem is entitled Colonial Jerusalem. He has been involved in activist and scholarly projects related to the Middle East for more than 25 years and is currently writing about neo-liberal urban space in Flint and Detroit.