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Wired: The Materiality of Power in Palestine-Israël

Unité : REPI Recherche et Études en Politique Internationale | ULB704

Description :

Materiality is back. After the turn to discourse in the late twentieth century, there is a new fascination with the material stuff of life. Matter matters
after all in the study of contemporary socio-political life. As part of this renewed emphasis upon materiality, infrastructures are making a conspicuous
appearance and so is electricity –an infrastructure par excellence that defines the modern condition. Situated at the intersection of urban studies,
political economy, settler colonialism and Middle East studies, this project sets out to investigate this material surge through an in-depth study of the ways
electrification comes to matter socially, politically, economically and spatially in Palestine/Israel. The project will study in archival and ethnographic
detail practices, discourses and actors that transform electricity into nodes of governance and flows of power and thereby endow infrastructures with
politically potent lives that vitalize, inform and shape processes of colonialism, modernity, statecraft and development in this particular context. In doing so,
the project seeks to develop a conceptualization of electricity that unsettles existing boundaries between technology and society, the material and the
symbolic and the human and non-human; address the actual theoretical and empirical lacunae in social science research on electricity and electrification in
colonial contexts; and produce an innovative history of the region. The approach advanced in this project underscores, on the one hand, the specific
historical and political significance of electricity in maintaining and challenging social orders. And, on the other, it provides an alternative to accounts of
Palestine-Israel largely defined by geopolitics and violence, offering instead a lens that allows for careful consideration of what might be learned from a
reading of the seemingly mundane ‘things’ that still today connect (albeit selectively) spaces and populations otherwise increasingly divided.
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Liste des bailleurs :

  • F.R.S.-FNRS et Fonds associés (hors FRIA)