Muzna Awayed-Bishara

Muzna Awayed-Bishara

Tel Aviv University

Muzna Awayed-Bishara is a senior faculty member in the Program for Multilingual Education, School of Education at Tel Aviv University. Her main research interests are: applied linguistics, EFL/multilingual education in conflict-ridden contexts, critical pedagogies, language ideologies, and language policy and planning with a special emphasis on the EFL education of Palestinians in Israel. She’s also interested in examining the ways in which power imbalances are (re)produced and/or contested through semiotic means.  She has published peer-reviewed articles in leading journals such as Applied Linguistics and TESOL Quarterly; and is the author of EFL Pedagogy as Cultural Discourse: Textbooks, Practice, and Policy for Arabs and Jews in Israel (Routledge, 2020). 

Talk Information:

Learning to unlearn colonial fear: A pedagogy of Sumud as linguistic citizenship among Palestinian youth in Israel
June 9, 2023 | 9:00 AM

In my talk, I will present a linguistic ethnographic study that offers a nuanced pedagogical understanding of the Arabic term ‘sumud,’ or steadfastness, through a sociolinguistic analysis of decolonial modes of expression among Palestinian youth in Israel. I reflect on events during the 2021 uprisings in East Jerusalem, when Palestinian youth within Israel took to the streets in solidarity with Palestinians in Jerusalem and Gaza. Considering the Israeli education system’s denationalization of the Palestinian community within its borders, I examine how Palestinian political ideals cultivated outside the formal educational system open new possibilities for political organizing and expression. I reflect upon conversations that I had shortly after the May events with members of the Haifa Youth Movement, and a Palestinian hip-hop artist known as Big Sam and his lyrics. Engaging with Stroud’s theorization of linguistic citizenship, I show how pedagogy of sumud as a linguistic citizenship practice opens new semiotic spaces for Palestinian youth in Israel to resist the erasure of their identity, and craft new subjectivities of political speakerhood different than those imposed on them.

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