Dr. Jamil Khader is Professor of English and Dean of Research at Bethlehem University, Palestine. Before arriving to Bethlehem University, Dr. Khader taught at Bilkent University, Ankara, Turkey, and at Stetson University, Deland Florida. His numerous articles on postcolonial studies, transnational feminisms, fantastic literature, and cosmopolitanism have appeared in various national and international journals and other collections. He is the author of Cartographies of Transnationalism in Postcolonial Feminisms: Geography, Culture, Identity, Politics (Lexington Books 2012) and is the co-editor, with Molly Rothenberg, of a collection of essays on the Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Žižek, entitled, Žižek Now: Current Perspectives in Žižek Studies (Polity 2013). His political commentary has been featured on Truth-out, Aljazeera in English, Jadaliyya, The Palestine Chronicle, Center for the Secular Research and Studies in the Arab World (Al-Hewar Al-Mutamaden), PPSArabia, News with Conscience, and other venues. He is currently working on two monographs on the significance of Palestine for internationalist politics and activism and fantastic literature (science fiction, fairy tale rewrites, and vampire narratives).
Banksy: The New York-Bethlehem Connection
I seek research partners to examine the elusive British "guerrilla" graffiti artist Banksy’s street art in New York City and his wall art as well as the new Walled Off installation-hotel in Bethlehem, Palestine. Banksy’s work in/ on Palestine toward the end of the last decade has put Palestine and the Palestinian struggle for freedom at the center of the international solidarity movement and the international art scene, to the extent that a burgeoning tourist industry has mushroomed in Palestine especially, the Bethlehem area, around his wall art. In his work, Banksy connected the Palestinian struggle to other global spaces through his intricate system of motifs, ciphers, and self-citations. Moreover, quite a few of his New York motifs reappear in his work in Bethlehem.
The aim of this project is to investigate and analyze the extent to which Banksy’s work in New York and Bethlehem is a function of the totality of his artwork as an overarching semiotic system, in which signs circulate within an intricate system of intertextual and intratextual references. Moreover, the project seeks to explore the extent to which Banksy uses his system of ciphers and signifiers to link the Palestinian struggle overtly to the struggles of other disposable communities in the global neoliberal capitalist system especially, in New York city.