Recap: Book Launch (with Audio)

Yesterday we launched Mapping Israel, Mapping Palestine at the University of Amsterdam! It went very well, and I’m thankful to to everyone who joined us, as well as those who couldn’t come but sent along their good wishes beforehand.

Here you can access the audio and my slides for the event. (Also see the additional slides below.) My 45 min. talk gives an overview of the entire book, followed by the detailed and thoughtful response. It’s particularly relevant for those interested in the role of space and power in knowledge production, as well as critical theories of science and technology.

We emphasized how my main argument, that geographical and political landscapes shape knowledge, stretches far beyond the specific case of maps in Palestine and Israel. So it was wonderful to see the participants connect their work to the book and my claim that, rather than an exception to international science, practices in Palestine and Israel are actually central to international knowledge production more broadly.

I was glad to have the chance to speak about the whole book in a longer format for the first time, and to place the book’s main arguments in their wider social and theoretical contexts, in terms of the relationship between colonialism, past and present, and the ability to know and produce facts. For that I’m very thankful to the event’s organizers, Marguerite van den Berg and the Center for Urban Studies.

I also am incredibly grateful for Polly Pallister-Wilkins‘s exciting response. Polly ranged through the entire book and selected specific moments, then tied those moments to a variety of examples, from her current work with refugees on the Mediterranean, to other key texts in science and technology studies (STS) and critical geography, such as Massey’s For Space (see her slides below). I only know of a handful of people who have deep experience in all three of the relevant literatures, from critical geography and STS, to colonialism in Palestine and Israel. so it was really wonderful that Polly could take part.

Here are Polly’s slides, two maps ot Tenochitlán, from Doreen Massey, For Space (referred to in the above text and linked audio):