Arts & Sciences Workshop: Volverse Palestina: Strategies of Erasure in Palestinian Identity Today


Tuesday, November 13, 2018, 6:00pm


CGIS South, S250, 1730 Cambridge Street


Speaker: Lina Meruane, Chilean novelist, Liberal Arts Clinical Associate Professor, NYU

Moderator: Mariano Siskind, Professor, Department of Romance Languages and Literatures

The quest to "return home" is one of the most controversial issues in the Palestinian/Israeli conflict since 1948. A leitmotif in Israeli writing, it has become the motto of diasporic Palestinians, old and new. A travel narrative, a chronicle and an autobiographical essay, her book Volverse palestina interrogates the multiple ways in which "returning" --always a failed endeavor, always a necessary one-- which Chilean writer and scholar Lina Meruane has transformed into a personal and political way of opposing the current strategies of erasure of Palestinian identity. Who can (legally) return and who cannot? Who is identified as an unwanted Palestinian--as a proper Palestinian? Who is authorized to speak as/for Palestinians? These are some of the issues Meruane will address in her workshop.

Lina Meruane is a Chilean writer and scholar who teaches Latin American Cultures, Cultural Foundations and a senior seminar entitled Pathological Citizenship at the Global Liberal Studies Program. She is also affiliated to the M.F.A. in Creative Writing in Spanish, where she teaches creative workshops. Since 1998, she has authored a short-story collection, a play and four novels. The most recent, Sangre en el ojo, was awarded the prestigious Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz Prize in Mexico and has been translated into English (Seeing red, Deep Vellum 2015), Italian, German, Dutch, French and Portuguese. Meruane has also received the Anna Seghers Prize (Berlin, 2011) and Calamo Prize (Spain, 2016), as well as literary fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation (US 2004), the National Endowment for the Arts (US 2010) and the DAAD Artists in Berlin Program (Germany 2017) . More recent publications include her scholarly book on the impact of AIDS in Latin American literature, Viral Voyages (Palgrave McMillan, 2014), a chronicle on her Palestinian origins, Volverse Palestina (Becoming Palestine, 2014) and a short essay book, Contra los hijos (Against Children, 2014).