Palestinian Studies

Book Talk | Ashjan Ajour | Reclaiming Humanity in Palestinian Hunger Strikes

Ashjan Ajour Event Poster

Friday, September 9, 2022

12:00 - 1:00 p.m.

Virtual Event
Registration Required 

About Reclaiming Humanity in Palestinian Hunger Strikes: Revolutionary Subjectivity and Decolonizing the Body

Rooted in feminist ethnography and decolonial feminist theory, this book explores the subjectivity of Palestinian hunger strikers in Israeli prisons, as shaped by resistance. Ashjan Ajour examines how these prisoners use their bodies in anti-colonial resistance; what determines this mode of radical struggle; the meanings they ascribe to their actions; and how they constitute their subjectivity while undergoing extreme bodily pain and starvation. These hunger strikes, which embody decolonization and liberation politics, frame the post-Oslo period in the wake of the decline of the national struggle against settler-colonialism and the fragmentation of the Palestinian movement. Providing narrative and analytical insights into embodied resistance and tracing the formation of revolutionary subjectivity, the book sheds light on the participants’ views of the hunger strike, as they move beyond customary understandings of the political into the realm of the ‘spiritualization’ of struggle. Drawing on Foucault’s conception of the technologies of the self, Fanon’s writings on anti-colonial violence, and Badiou’s militant philosophy, Ajour problematizes these concepts from the vantage point of the Palestinian hunger strike.

About the Author

Ashjan Ajour is an academic researcher in sociology at the University of Leicester, UK. Her research focuses on gender, feminist theories and movements, decolonization, political subjectivity, and incarceration.