[PAST EVENT] Tool of Every Empire, Paper and Stick by Priscilla Wathington
The “official document” — and its accompanying limits and threats — is one of the primary "carrots" that Israel wields to exert control over Palestinian bodies and breath. Whether in Jerusalem or Gaza, various permits, military orders, court orders and other documents constrain where or how Palestinians can live and move, and what means they have to articulate or act upon their own existence. For this reason, the phrase "permit regime" has become a ubiquitous frame through which to view Palestinian life under occupation. During this talk, I will read a selection of poems from my newly released chapbook, Paper and Stick (Tram Editions, 2021), which explores what type of language is possible when documents are set out like traps in the woods. Relying on a strategy of documentary poetics, the poems draw source material from standing or recently cancelled military orders, news articles, archival texts, former Israeli soldiers' published statements, and statements from Palestinian minors who had been placed under Israeli military detention. The poems' themes and aesthetic choices will be contextualized within the wider situation of Palestinian human rights, especially the abuses that Palestinian minors, who have been detained by the Israeli military, routinely undergo.
Priscilla Wathington is a Palestinian American poet and editor who has worked with NGOs such as the Arab American Action Network, Defense for Children International – Palestine, and the Norwegian Refugee Council. The poems in her debut chapbook, Paper and Stick (Tram Editions, 2021), "sharply probe the way language both limns and shadows atrocities," writes Deema Shehabi. Wathington's poems have appeared in Gulf Coast, Michigan Quarterly Review, Salamander, The Normal School, Mizna, and elsewhere. She holds a Master’s in Arab Studies from Georgetown University’s Center for Contemporary Arab Studies and sits on the board of the Radius of Arab American Writers (RAWI).
Made possible with funding from the Program in Asian and Middle Eastern Studies.
Inquiries: [[rbferrao, Dr. R. Benedito Ferrão]] or [[mbvantassel, Monika Van Tassel]].
[[rbferrao, Dr. R. Benedito Ferrão]] or [[mbvantassel, Monika Van Tassel]]
This Event Appears On
- W&M Featured Events
- Arts & Sciences Events
- Global Studies Events
- Reves Center for International Studies Events
- Asian & Middle Eastern Studies Events
- William & Mary Crim Dell Association
- Hulon Willis Association (HWA)
- LatinX Alumni of William & Mary (LatinX)
- Asian & Pacific Islander American Studies
- Asian, Pacific Islander and Middle Eastern Alumni
- Asian Centennial