I am a cultural anthropologist at Duke University researching linkages between culture and politics in Israel in the context of the Israeli military occupation and legacy of the Palestinian dispossession. I am the author of Digital Militarism: Israel's Occupation in the Social Media Age (co-authored with Adi Kuntsman; Stanford University Press, 2015), which studies the ways that social media has altered the Israeli relationship to its military occupation, in both state and civilian contexts; Itineraries in Conflict: Israelis, Palestinians, and the Political Lives of Tourism (Duke University Press, 2008) which considers the relationship between tourism, mobility politics, and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict; the coeditor of Palestine, Israel and the Politics of Popular Culture (Duke University Press, 2005) with Ted Swedenburg; and the co-editor of The Struggle for Sovereignty: Palestine and Israel, 1993-2005 with Joel Beinin (Stanford University Press, 2006).
I am currently continuing work on a multi-book project about the ways that new media and communication technologies are recalibrating the Israeli relationship to its military occupation -- generating shifts in the everyday terms of soldiering, remediating the civilian relationship to the occupied Palestinian population, and remaking the terrain of human rights work within Israel. My first book on this topic -- Digital Militarism: Israel's Occupation in the Social Media Age (with Adi Kuntsman, 2015) -- studied the place of social media within this equation. My current book project --Killing on Camera: State Violence and the Smartphone --- studies the role of testimonial cameras in the context of the Israeli military occupation. Over the last two decades, all of the actors in this political theater, on both sides of the conflict, have increasingly integrated cameras into their everyday lives as documentary and testimonial tools: Palestinian residents and activists, Israeli human rights organizations, the Jewish settler population, and even the Israeli military. Here, as in broader global contexts, cameras are flexible technologies. Human rights workers and activists, both Israeli and Palestinian, use them as part of their larger struggle against the Israeli occupation. Settlers and military actors, by contrast, use cameras to support Israel’s military project in the Palestinian territories, employing cameras to refute the testimonial claims of their Palestinian foes. All constituencies believed that better photographic technologies — shooting faster, closer and with more precision — can advance their political project. Their diverse stories illustrate some of the ways that the Israeli military occupation, seen from the vantage of both Israeli perpetrators and Palestinian victims, is changing in the digital age.
This multi-book project has been supported by grants from the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS), the Wenner-Gren Foundation, the Palestinian American Research Council, and the Trent Foundation.
Portions of this work have published in Current Anthropology, Critical Inquiry, Anthropological Quarterly, Middle East Report, and the London Review of Books. My work on Israeli cultural politics has appeared in such journals as Public Culture, Social Text, The International Journal of Middle East Studies,Theory and Event, Journal of Palestine Studies, GLQ: A Journal of Gay and Lesbian Studies and Interventions: International Journal of Postcolonial Studies.