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Bisan Lecture Series

Bisan Lecture Series

In concert with Scientists for Palestine and the Bisan Center for Research and Development, and in keeping with their joint commitment to full integration of Palestine in the global community of learning, the Bisan Lecture Series sponsors discourses on subjects of cultural, scientific, and societal importance by leading research experts and public intellectuals of varied heritage and viewpoint. The interactive webinars are free and open to the public, and recordings of each will be posted soon afterward.


Wednesday, March 9 2022, 7 pm Palestine time

Prof. George Smith (University of Missouri, Nobel laureate in chemistry in 2018)

Title: The Virology of Ideas—An Indispensable Pandemic

Abstract: “Ideas” (cultural innovations) are likened to viruses that proliferate through community infection, being subject to massive random variation and ruthless natural selection as they spread. “Variants of interest”—extremely rare cultural Omicrons—emerge unpredictably from global communities; they’re not the intellectual property of individual brains. Individual brains’ contributions depend on their residence in a global “ideosphere”—the cultural analog of an ecological biosphere. Injury to any part of the global cultural community, such as Israel has inflicted in Palestine, is an injury to the entire global community. Liberation from such injuries is a cultural as much as a political and moral imperative

Wednesday, April 13 2022, 7 pm Palestine time

Dr. Honaida Ghanim (Director of the Palestinian Forum for Israeli Studies “MADAR”, Visiting Professor at Birzeit University)

Title: Post-justice, exceptionalism, and the normalization of Apartheid

Abstract: The post-justice concept is introduced here to theorize the normalization of oppression, dispossession, and Israeli Apartheid in the international relation. Post-justice is a state of indifference in which the distinction between right and wrong, or good and evil is irrelevant to politics. Because post-justice is a product of unequal power relations and rest on in-deep oriental racism toward the Palestinian, it facilitates colonization and apartheid through various tools that emphasize the “exceptionalism” of the colonizer. In doing so, I draw my examples from the Israeli ongoing and official subjugation of the Palestinians, the privatization of colonization in East Jerusalem and mixed cities, settlers’ violence in the West Bank,  the enactment of the nation-state law, in parallel to the Israeli international relations expansion. 

Steering committee

Ahmed Abbes
Ubai Aboudi
Michael Harris
Islah Jad
Assaf Kfoury
Mario Martone
Anat Matar
Haynes Miller
George Smith

The Bisan Center is a non-governmental, nonprofit, democratic and progressive Civil Society Organization (CSO) that seeks to enhance Palestinian abilities and potentials for building an active civil and democratic community. The Bisan Center was established in 1989 and officially registered with the Palestinian Ministry of Interior in 2004.

The Bisan Center aligns itself with the poor and marginalized in Palestinian society, as it works to support their struggle in advancing their socioeconomic rights and builds partnerships with other progressive institutions. Among other activities, the Bisan Center regularly produces research reports centered on various problems of development, gender, youth, and social justice. These reports are published (in Arabic) in its annual journal Al-Taqadomi, which is peer-reviewed and focused on issues of development.