Solidarity with Palestinians has become a salient domain of global queer politics. Yet LGBTQ Palestinians, even as they fight patriarchy and imperialism, are themselves subjected to an "empire of critique" from Israeli and Palestinian institutions, Western academics, journalists and filmmakers, and even fellow activists. Such global criticism has limited growth and led to an emphasis within the movement on anti-imperialism over the struggle against homophobia. Dr. Sa’ed Atshan will discuss how transnational progressive social movements can balance struggles for liberation along more than one axis.
Dr. Atshan is Assistant Professor of Peace and Conflict Studies at Swarthmore College. Previously, he served as a postdoctoral fellow at the Watson Institute for International Studies at Brown University. He earned a Joint Ph.D. in Anthropology and Middle Eastern Studies, an M.A. in Social Anthropology, and a Master in Public Policy degree from Harvard University. He received his B.A. from Swarthmore College in 2006. Atshan’s research is focused on contemporary Palestinian society and politics, global LGBTQ social movements, and Quaker Studies and Christian minorities in the Middle East. He has three forthcoming books: Queer Palestine and the Empire of Critique (Stanford University Press), Paradoxes of Humanitarianism: The Social Life of Aid in the Palestinian Territories (Stanford University Press), and The Moral Triangle: Germans, Israelis, Palestinians (Duke University Press).
Atshan has been awarded fellowships from the Open Society Foundations, the National Science Foundation, the Social Science Research Council, the Woodrow Wilson National Foundation, the Andrew Mellon Foundation, the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, and the Paul and Daisy Soros Foundation. He is also a recipient of the Kathryn Davis Fellowship for Peace. Atshan has worked for a range of organizations, including the American Civil Liberties Union, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Human Rights Watch, Seeds of Peace, the Palestinian Negotiations Affairs Department, and the Government of Dubai. He is a Palestinian, Quaker, and LGBTQ human rights activist.