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Ethnography between Repression and Resilience (Graduate Colloquium by Sophia Goodfriend and Jake Silver)

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We are pleased to announce our last graduate colloquium for Fall 2020, organized by two of our graduate fellows, Jake Silver and Sophia Goodfriend. Centered around the theme of ethnography as both analytic and creative practice, this session highlights ethnographic possibilities regarding surveillance, capitalism, policing states as well as resilience, refusals, resistance in the occupied West Bank. We are excited to be joined by Lisa Bhungalia, Assistant Professor in Department of Geography at Kent State University.

Date: November 20, Friday, 4-5:30 pm, EST.

Description: Many disciplines veer into one of two analytic directions when examining colonialism, surveillance, or police states: either structural inquiries into the power of such military systems to determine life, or examinations of how those living in the grasp of such regimes resist, refuse, and cultivate subversive power on their own terms. This colloquium examines if and how ethnography might reconcile these divergent frameworks: Can ethnography balance repression and resilience? Can it offer a portrait of how individuals navigate massive forms of political enclosure with their own ambitions and hopes in mind? In particular, we will explore these questions through ethnographies in the occupied West Bank, though the issues and concerns underlying our conversation resonate far and wide.


  • Bhungalia, Lisa. 2020. “Laughing at Power: Humor, Transgression, and the Politics of Refusal in Palestine.” Environment and Planning C: Politics and Space 38 (3): 387–404.
  • Silver, Jake. 2020. “Verticality and vulnerability: on the affective infrastructures of Palestinian astronomy.” Unpublished manuscript, last modified November, 2020. Adobe PDF file.
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