Politics of Transnational Solidarity in North Africa and the Middle East: A Conversation

May 26, 2021 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Focusing on issues of race and structures of racism, speakers address historical and contemporary conditions of possibility for transnational solidarity between communities in the Global North and those in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). An earlier generation witnessed transnational solidarity with demands for national liberation and self-determination, while today the question of who and what to act in solidarity with in the MENA region has become even more complicated. As legal scholars and activists, professors Erakat and Li each speak to methodology, sources, and research when law is deployed as a tool for transnational mobilization.

Noura Erakat is a human rights attorney, Assistant Professor of Africana Studies at Rutgers University, and non-resident fellow of the Religious Literacy Project at Harvard Divinity School. Professor Erakat is the author of Justice for Some: Law and the Question of Palestine (Stanford University Press, 2019), which received the Palestine Book Award and the Bronze Medal for the Independent Publishers Book Award in Current Events/Foreign Affairs. She is co-founding editor of Jadaliyya and editorial board member of the Journal of Palestine Studies. She has served as Legal Counsel for a Congressional Subcommittee in the US House of Representatives, as Legal Advocate for the Badil Resource Center for Palestinian Refugee and Residency Rights, and as national organizer of the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation. Professor Erakat has also produced video documentaries, including "Gaza In Context" and "Black Palestinian Solidarity." She has appeared on CBS News, CNN, Fox News, and NPR, among others.

Darryl Li is assistant professor of anthropology and associate member of the law school at the University of Chicago. He is author of The Universal Enemy: Jihad, Empire, and the Challenge of Solidarity (Stanford University Press, 2020) and an attorney licensed in New York and Illinois.

Jemima Pierre (moderator) is Associate Professor at UCLA, jointly appointed in the Department of African American Studies and the Department of Anthropology. She is also a Research Associate at the inaugural Centre for the Study of Race, Gender and Class at the University of Johannesburg. She is the author of The Predicament of Blackness: Postcolonial Ghana and the Politics of Race (University of Chicago, 2013) and "Zionism, Anti-Blackness, and the Struggle for Palestine" (2015).

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Part 5 of the Race, Racism, Policing and State Violence series

For more information, email: kroyce@anthro.ucla.edu

Sponsors: UCLA Center for Near Eastern Studies, UCLA Department of Anthropology, The Promise Institute for Human Rights at UCLA Law