Tolerance is a Wasteland: Palestine and the Psychogeography of Denial
On January 18th, 2021, the PLSC hosted a public talk by Dr. Saree Makdisi, as part of the inaugural lecture series of the Palestine Land Studies Center.
Dr. Saree Makdisi:
Dr. Saree Makdisi is a professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of California, Los Angeles. He is the author of, among other books, Palestine Inside Out: An Everyday Occupation (Norton, 2010) and Tolerance is a Wasteland: Palestine and the Psychogeography of Denial, forthcoming from the University of California Press.
How can a violent project of colonial dispossession and racial discrimination be repackaged—via a system of emotional investments, curated perceptions, and carefully staged pedagogical exercises—into something that can be imagined, felt, and profoundly believed in as though it were the exact opposite: the embodiment of ecological regeneration, multicultural tolerance and democratic idealism? This talk explores one such act of affirmation and denial: the site of the so-called Museum of Tolerance being built on top of the ruins of a Muslim cemetery in Jerusalem that was methodically desecrated in order to clear the space for the construction of a monument to “inclusion.”