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Faculty: Sa’ed Atshan

Department Overview

Sa’ed AtshanSa’ed Atshan (PhD, Harvard University) is on sabbatical for the 2020-2021 academic year at the University of California, Berkeley as a Visiting Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Visiting Scholar in Middle Eastern Studies. 

Dr. Atshan is Assistant Professor of Peace and Conflict Studies at Swarthmore College, where he is also Coordinator of the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship Program. He previously served as a Postdoctoral Fellow at Brown University's Watson Institute for International Studies.

As an anthropologist and peace and conflict studies scholar, 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.  Atshan examines the politics of international aid provision in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

He has published two other books. 

Queer Palestine and the Empire of Critique (Stanford University Press, 2020) traces the rise of the LGBTQ movement in Palestine and how it has then become a transnational queer movement in solidarity with Palestinians. Atshan also accounts for the transformation of the critique of empire into what he calls an "empire of critique." 

Queer Palestine Book Cover

The Moral Triangle: Germans, Israelis, Palestinians (Duke University Press, 2020) is co-authored with German-Israeli scholar Katharina Galor (Judaic Studies, Brown University). Atshan and Galor explore the Israeli and Palestinian diaspora communities in Berlin. Their book elucidates questions of moral responsibility and the relationship between Germans, Israelis, and Palestinians in the contemporary context. 

Atshan has recently embarked on two new projects. “Queer Imaginaries and the Re-Making of the Modern Middle East” is in collaboration with Phillip Ayoub (Diplomacy and World Affairs, Occidental College). Atshan and Ayoub are researching LGBTQ activism across the Middle East/North Africa region.

Atshan is also researching the convergent and divergent experiences of African-American and Palestinian Quakers, with an emphasis on the intersection of race and Christianity in the United States and Israel/Palestine. This project is entitled, “Can the Subaltern Quaker Speak?: Alienation and Belonging among Black and Palestinian Friends.”

Last Collection 2018 Sa'ed Atshan '06, Assistant Professor of Peace & Conflict Studies

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