Hagar Kotef

Hagar Kotef

SOAS, University of London
Hagar Kotef (1)

Hagar Kotef is a Professor of Political Theory at SOAS, University of London, and the Chair of the Centre for Comparative Political Thought. She is the Author of The Colonizing Self: Home and Homelessness in Israel/Palestine, and of Movement and the Ordering of Freedom (both published by Duke UP)

Talk Information:

The Colonizing Self, Home and Homelessness, In Israel/Palestine and Beyond
April 28, 2023 | 9:00 AM

This talk looks into the concept of “home” in spaces of colonization and violence. From Israelis who settle in the West Bank and in depopulated Palestinian houses in Haifa, Yaffa, or Lydd, to white missionaries who build their lives in Africa, or the descendants of European settlers in the Americas and Australia, people dwell and thrive on expropriated lands. In her talk Kotef traces the cultural, political, and spatial apparatuses that enable people and nations to settle on the ruins of other people's homes. It curates a palimpsest of thefts and ruins, nested histories of exile and exploitation alongside the intimate, ordinary, cruelties of settler colonialism. Kotef powerfully shows how the possibility to live amid the destruction one generates is not merely the possibility to turn one's gaze away from violence but also the possibility to develop an attachment to violence itself. This is then a map of desires, losses, placements and displacements, that are meshed together to create contemporary political spaces -- a map which binds the everyday, national, and global.