EUME Berliner Seminar
Mi 21 Jun 2023 | 17:00–18:30

Haifa 1948: The Unmaking of the Palestinian City and the Struggle for Democratic Urban Governance

Himmat Zoubi (EUME Fellow 2018-23), Chair: Hashem Abushama (University of Oxford / EUME Fellow 2023-25)

Forum Transregionale Studien, Wallotstr. 14, 14193 Berlin

What can a focus on Haifa reveal about Palestinian life and representative politics before, during, and in the wake of the Nakba? How can centering Palestinians in Haifa help us understand how everyday people shape urban life in opposition to and in contention with imperial, colonial, and settler colonial power?  This talk is based on a chapter in a book project entitle, “De-Urbanizing Palestine: Transforming Hayfa into Haifa (1948-1953)”, (the term Hayfa is used to distinguish between pre-1948 Hayfa and post-occupation Haifa) which answers these questions by exploring Palestinian political representations in the city of Hayfa-Haifa from late Ottoman rule until the first few years following the Nakba. By mapping the trajectories of Palestinian’s urban political representation in the city, it explores the dialectical relations between imperial and colonial powers on the one hand and local political traditions on the other. Illustrating the dialectical relation between external and domestic powers, this chapter offers a unique lens on governance, collectivity, and modernity. This talk will mainly focus on 1948 Haifa and will reveals settler colonialism as a rupture in envisioning, shaping, and practicing representational governance and self-rule in urban geographies in Palestine.

Himmat Zoubi Is a Palestinian researcher and feminist activist. She received her PhD in Sociology from Ben-Gurion University and holds two Master's degrees, one in Criminology and another in Gender Studies. Her work focuses on cities and urbanization in colonial context. She published several book chapters and articles on, settler colonialism cities, settler colonial cultural cities, on Palestinian feminist movement, and indigenous knowledge and resistance.
Zoubi was a EUME Fellow during the academic years 2018-21. In 2021/22 she was a postdoctoral fellow of the International Research Group on Authoritarianism and Counter-Strategies (IRGAC) at Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung, associated with The Center for Middle Eastern and North African Studies at the Freie Universität, Berlin and EUME. In the academic year 2022/23, she remains a EUME Fellow.

Hashem Abushama is a human geographer with interests in urban studies, cultural studies, and critical development geographies. He is currently a departmental lecturer at Oxford University’s School of Geography and the Environment and a EUME Fellow 2023 – 25.



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