Theory as Stone

Ian Parker introduces a theoretical article on Palestine by Stephen Sheehi called "Theory As Stone"

 

This article we link to is about theory and practice, and specifically about the theory and practice of Palestine solidarity. The article takes as its starting point the decision of the Freud Society of Vienna to cancel their invitation to Edward Said to speak to them. The reason? Said had been photographed throwing a stone at an Israeli Occupation Forces guard tower. We know well that in relation to the genocide happening in Gaza that silence is violence, but Said’s act of resistance provoked fury, crossed a line. The line it crossed was the link between theory – the Freud Society of Vienna was happy to hear about theory, it seems – and action, “engagement”; they said  “A lot of members of our society told us—they can’t accept that we have invited an engaged Palestinian, who also throws stones against Israeli soldiers.”

Stephen Sheehi, the author of the article, is an academic and activist, and his commitment to active solidarity work in the domain of theory and practice shines through in this article. He is the director of the Decolonizing Humanities project and currently visiting professor at the Doha Institute for Graduate Studies, author of books about the Arab world, photography and psychoanalysis, and co-author, with Lara Sheehi, of Psychoanalysis Under Occupation: Practising Resistance in Palestine (Routledge, 2022) which won the Palestine Books Award for Best 2022 Academic Book on Palestine.

When you follow the link you will also see details of the special issue of Social Text which brings together a number of “theoretical” articles about Palestine. This is the link to Stephen’s article “Theory as Stone”


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Ian Parker is a Manchester-based psychoanalyst and a member of Anti*Capitalist Resistance.

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