I arrived in Ramallah well prepared . . . or so I thought. I’d read Saree Makdisi’s chilling portrait of Palestinian life under occupation, historical accounts by Rashid Khalidi, Walid Khalidi, Ilan Pappe, Nur Mashala, and Gabriel Piterberg, powerful critiques of Israeli apartheid leveled by Ali Abunimah, Omar Baghouti, and Uri Davis, exposés penned by Israeli journalists Amira Hass and Gideon Levy, as well as pro-Zionist voices such as Amos Oz and A.B. Yehoshua. I had Edward Said by my side, and the Electronic Intifada and the Palestine Monitor in my web browser. Our small delegation, formed at the behest of the U.S. Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel, consisted of some of the smartest people I know, their collective knowledge of the situation surpassed only by our hosts at Birzeit University in Ramallah. We were there on a fact-finding mission.
Work Reviewed: Miyoshi, Masao. Trespasses: Selected Writings. Ed. Eric Cazdyn. Durham: Duke UP, 2010. xxxiii + 344 pp. No obituaries appeared in the major American newspapers when Masao Miyoshi, the author of Accomplices of Silence(1974), As We Saw Them (1979), and Off Center: Power … Continue reading “A Trespasser's Legacy”
This feature in today’s The Observer newspaper on Britain’s relationship to ‘public intellectualism’ is at times illuminating, and at times frustrating in the most productive of ways. Indeed, some of my frustration with it connects directly to a theme that … Continue reading “On Public Intellectualism in the UK”