"Landscapes of Occupation: Photos from Palestine"
View my video in YouTube, Ex-Communicated: Landscapes of Occupation in Palestine
Ph.D. in City and Regional Planning, University of California, Berkeley (2002)
My research focuses on geographical landscapes as representations and instruments of power, and the practice of “territoriality” which refers to the power of human agency to influence patterns of development in a place by asserting control over a geographical area. The question at the core of my work is:
How do territorial landscapes communicate the power of dominant groups to reorganize patterns of material life, politics, and culture in particular places, and how does landscape itself become an instrument of dominant groups to control subalterns in this process of transformation?
Through comparative case studies from past and present, I argue that the use of power to reshape landscapes is an historically enduring phenomenon in the making of modernity, present in both major routes to the modern world, capitalist development and nation-building.
My book, Territories of Profit (2004) reveals how the capitalist business firm uses force to reshape the economic and physical landscape in order to exploit the innovative potential of communications revolutions and make profit differently. Capitalist development, I argue in comparing Swift Meatpacking and Dell Computer, is a territorial project, the outcome of corporate power to rearrange elements on the land, and reorganize the behavior of other actors in the profit-making environment.
My new work focuses on the interplay of power and landscape in Palestine. In this project, I compare the fractured landscape of dispossession in Palestine to the landscapes of the British Enclosure Movement in the 18th century, and the 19th century American Frontier. I argue that the geography of fragmentation and dispossession in Palestine continues a longstanding pattern of territoriality. In this pattern dominant groups, inspired by new discourses about property rights and entitlement to land and backed by the state, re-imagine the landscape and recast its socio-economic, demographic, and physical character to fit this imagined vision.
At the core of my work is a commitment to theoretically-driven, actor-centered accounts of power and processes of transformation. My work seeks to build a theory and critique of power and the development process by fusing geography, history, and political economy while maintaining a commitment to a scholarship of activism and critical engagement with the world.
Territories of Profit: Communications, Capitalist Development and the Innovative Enterprises of G.F. Swift and Dell Computer (Stanford University Press, 2004).
Read Reviews in:
- "'This is our Land': Collective Violence, Property Law, and Imagining the Geography of Palestine." Journal of Cultural Geography. Vol. 29, no. 3 (2012).
- "Enclosure Landscapes: Historical Reflections on the Palestinian Geography."Historical Geography, Vol. 39, no. 1 (2011).
- "Landscaping Palestine: Reflections of Enclosure in an Historical Mirror."International Journal of Middle East Studies, Vol. 42, no. 1 (2010): 62-83.
- "Enclosure: Palestinian Landscape in a Not-too-Distant Mirror.” Journal of Historical Sociology. Vol. 23, no 2 (2010). pp. 216-250.
- "Ex-Communicated: Historical Reflections of Enclosure Landscapes in Palestine.” Radical History Review , no. 108 (Fall, 2010), pp. 139-153.
- Imagining Geography: Property Rights, Land Improvement and State Terror in Palestine. Terror and Its Representations. Larry Portis, ed. Presses Universitaires de la Mediterranee, (2008) pp. 233-252.
- Landscapes of Power: British Enclosure and the Palestinian Geography,” The Arab World Geographer, Vol. 10, no. 3-4 (2007): 189-211.
- "Innovation, Time and Territory: Space and the Business Organization of Dell Computer." Economic Geography, Vol, 86, no. 2 (2006) 119-146.
- “Communications, Innovation, and Territory: The Production Network of G.F. Swift and the Creation of a National Marketplace.” Journal of Historical Geography, Vol. 29, no. 4 (Fall, 2003), pp. 599-617.
- “Social Capital and Capital Gains in Silicon Valley” [With Stephen S. Cohen] California Management Review, Vol. 41, no. 2 (1999), pp. 108-129.
- “City Systems, Urban History and Economic Modernity: Urbanization and the Transition from Agrarian to Industrial Society,” Berkeley Planning Journal, Vol. 13 (1999), pp. 102-128.
- “The Ascendancy and Calamity of the Centrally-Planned Economy,” International Review of Sociology, Vol. 7, (1997), pp. 243-66.
- “The Road From Gdansk: How Poland’s Solidarity Found Haven in the Marketplace,” Monthly Review, Vol. 43, no. 3 (1991), pp. 95-121.
- "The Tunnels of Gaza: Going Underground to Survive. "San Diego Union Tribune.August 17, 2012.
- "In the 'Fog of War' in Gaza, a Rain of Fire." San Diego Union Tribune. April 24, 2011.
- "Confrontation Off Gaza: Israeli Government's Orwellian Spin." San Diego Union Tribune. June 4, 2010.
- "Impoverishing Palestinian Farmers", San Diego Union Tribune. October 16, 2009
- "Another Side of Terrorism in the Middle East." San Diego Union Tribune. April 6, 2007.
- "Losing Freedom...Bit by Bit." San Diego Union Tribune. August 3, 2006
- "Power, Propaganda and the Promised Land." San Diego Union Tribune. May 29, 2005.
- "A 'Freedom Summer' in Palestine." Chicago Tribune. July 25, 2004.
- "Thirsting to Breathe: Qalqilya and Water are Metaphors of Israeli Occupation." San Diego Union Tribune. August 1, 2004.
- "Build Bridges, Not Walls," Chicago Tribune, February 22, 2004.
- "Peace through war: Orwell revisited", San Diego Union Tribune, March 21, 2003
- "Mapping Peace: Territory, History and Democracy", San Diego Union Tribune, July 16, 2003.