The Goodspeed Lecture Series welcomes Atalia Omer and Sa’ed Atshan.

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The Department of Religion at Denison University proudly presents the first Goodspeed Lecture (Virtual) in 2021—2022: “Transforming Conflict to Peace: Israel, Palestine and Beyond.” We welcome four internationally acclaimed scholars in theology, women’s and gender studies, peace studies, and anthropology. This Goodspeed Lecture is a two-day virtual event open to the public. 

The Goodspeed Lecture series welcomes Atalia Omer, presenting “Decolonizing Peace in Palestine/Israel: Pathways toward a Jewish-Israeli Restorative Ethics” and Sa’ed Atshan, presenting “Queer Imaginaries and the Future of Palestine/Israel.”

Omer is a professor of Religion, Conflict, and Peace Studies at the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies and at the Keough School of Global Affairs at the University of Notre Dame. She is also the Dermot T.J. Dunphy visiting professor of Religion, Violence, and Peace Building at Harvard University and a senior fellow at the Religion, Conflict, and Peace Initiative at Harvard University’s Religion and Public Life program. Her research focuses on religion, violence, and peacebuilding with a particular focus on Palestine/Israel as well as theories and methods in the study of religion. Omer was awarded an Andrew Carnegie Fellowship in 2017 to complete a manuscript titled “Decolonizing Religion and Peacebuilding.” Among other publications, Omer is the author of “When Peace is Not Enough: How the Israeli Peace Camp Thinks about Religion, Nationalism, and Justice” (University of Chicago Press, 2015) and “Days of Awe: Reimagining Jewishness in Solidarity with Palestinians” (University of Chicago Press, 2019). She is also a co-editor of the Oxford Handbook of Religion, Conflict, and Peacebuilding (Oxford University Press, 2015).

Atshan is (acting) associate professor of Anthropology at Emory University. He is also an associate professor of Peace and Conflict Studies at Swarthmore College. Atshan previously served as a visiting assistant professor of Anthropology and Senior Research Scholar in Middle Eastern Studies at the University of California, Berkeley, and as a postdoctoral fellow at Brown University’s Watson Institute for International Studies. Atshan’s research is focused on a) contemporary Palestinian society and politics, b) global LGBTQ social movements, and c) Quaker Studies and Christian minorities in the Middle East. His forthcoming book, “Paradoxes of Humanitarianism: The Social Life of Aid in the Palestinian Territories,” is under contract with Stanford University Press in their Anthropology of Policy Series. He is also the author of “Queer Palestine and the Empire of Critique” (Stanford University Press, 2020), and co-author of “The Moral Triangle: Germans, Israelis, Palestinians” (Duke University Press, 2020).

Denison University’s Goodspeed Lectureship is named after Edgar Goodspeed (Class 1890), one of the most important American Biblical scholars of the twentieth century. The Goodspeed Lecture Series introduces renowned scholars in religion to the Denison community whose work critically explores social justice issues, American public life, international relations, human history, and rituals through the multiple lenses of religion.

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