Moral Geographies, Political Emotions, and Ethical Subjectivity in Israeli-Palestinian Performances of Reconciliation

Kellogg Institute Graduate Research Grants
Grant Year

How does the moral context and physical geography in Israel-Palestine make some emotions allowable while disallowing others, and how do emotions like grief and expressions of joy become political? This project investigates the social and political expectations governing expressions of emotion in public and private places, and examines how the daily practices of reconciliation practitioners shape the meaning of ethical political action in contexts of violence and systematic oppression. I will study reconciliation programs where interactions between bereaved Israelis and Palestinians are used to promote non-violent resistance to the occupation of Palestinian territories. I aim to conduct an analysis of reconciliation using performance theory (Goffman 1959) to understand how different materials and spaces are used in performances of reconciliation. I seek to understand how practices of peace-building that universalize emotions like grief may lead to evaluations of the ethical and political capacity of Palestinians and Israelis.