Skip to content
Skip to navigation menu

Dr Marcelo Svirsky

Overview

Dr Marcelo Svirsky Position: Marie-Curie Visiting Fellow Email: SvirskyM@cf.ac.uk
Telephone:
Extension:
Location: John Percival Building, Colum Drive, Cathays, Cardiff

Research Group

Centre for Critical and Cultural Theory

Research Interests

  • International Politics: Middle-East Studies – history and politics of Israel/Palestine, Ethnic Conflict, Colonialism and Postcolonialism, Social movements in South America.
  • Political Theory: Civil Society, Political Activism and Radical Politics, Interculturalism and Multiculturalism.
  • Late 20th century European philosophy: especially G. Deleuze, F. Guattari, M. Foucault, G. Agamben, and R. Esposito.
  • Politics and Education: especially Bilingualism in ethnic-conflict ridden societies.

Selected Publications

Deleuze and Political Activism (Deleuze Studies Volume 4, Special Issue), edited, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, (2010), ISBN: 978-0-7486-4052-2.

Arab-Jewish Activism in Israel – Intercultural Citizenship in Ethnonational Divided Societies, Farnham: Ashgate (2011); ISBN 978-1-4094-2229-7.

Agamben and Colonialism, Marcelo Svirsky & Simone Bignall (eds.), Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press (2011).

Publications

Books

Deleuze and Political Activism (Deleuze Studies Volume 4, Special Issue), edited, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, (2010), ISBN: 978-0-7486-4052-2.

Arab-Jewish Activism in Israel – Intercultural Citizenship in Ethnonational Divided Societies, Farnham: Ashgate (2011); ISBN 978-1-4094-2229-7.

Agamben and Colonialism, Marcelo Svirsky & Simone Bignall (eds.), Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press (2011).

Articles in Refereed Journals

‘Captives of Identity: The Betrayal of Intercultural cooperation’, in Subjectivity (2011), 4 (1)

‘The empty square of the Occupation’, in Deleuze Studies (2010), 4 (3): 381-411

‘A Stirring Alphabet of Thought’ (Review Essay), in Deleuze Studies (2009), 3 (3): 311-324

‘This Regime which is not One: A Deleuzian Approach’, in HaMerhav HaTziburi (The Public Space) (2009), 3: 107-138 (in Hebrew)

‘The Politics of Familiarity: An Intercultural Alternative to the Politics of Recognition’, in HaMerhav HaTziburi (The Public Space) (2008), 2: 2-32 (in Hebrew)

‘Bilingual Education and Practical Interculturalism in Israel: The case of the Galilee’, with Mor-Sommerfeld, A., Azaiza, F. and Hertz-Lazarowitz, R., in The Discourse of Sociological Practice (2008), 8 (1): 55-81; ISSN: 1527-778X

Chapters in books

‘The Cultural Politics of Exception’, in Marcelo Svirsky & Simone Bignall (eds.), Agamben and Colonialism (2011), Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press (forthcoming)

‘Against the Royal Science of Activism’, in Marcelo Svirsky (ed.), Deleuze and Political Activism (Deleuze Studies, Special Issue, 2010), Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 4(3): 1-6

‘Defining political activism’, in Marcelo Svirsky (ed.), Deleuze and Political Activism (Deleuze Studies, Special Issue, 2010), Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 4 (3):163-190

‘The Production of terra nullius and the Zionist-Palestinian Conflict’, in Paul Patton and Simone Bignall (eds.) Deleuze and the Postcolonial (2010), Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 220-250

‘From Recognition to Familiarity – An Intercultural Approach’, in Jones Irwin and Dianne Powell (eds.) Interculturalism: Theoretical and Empirical Perspectives (2010), London: Rodopi Press

‘Constructing Intercultural Hybrids: Adding Necessity to Contingency’, in Jones Irwin (ed.) Interculturalism and Interdiscplinarity (2008), Probing the Boundaries project, Vol. 19 (e-book, ISBN: 1-904710-18-2), Oxford: Inter-Disciplinary Press

 

Research

My work focuses on the problems of Ethnic Conflict, Post-Conflict and Peace Studies within the discipline of International Relations. I have developed expertise in the field of Middle Eastern Studies, focusing in particular on the Arab-Israeli Conflict, which I see as a window onto understanding the broader cultural encounter between the West and Islam. In recent years I have been developing models of Post-Conflict patterns by looking into the ways in which civil society contributes to the construction of new sociabilities in Israel and Palestine beyond the ethnic divide. This has led me to investigate different themes in the Israeli/Palestinian encounter, both historical and contemporary, including questions concerning emergent political subjectivities in politics, culture and education; questions of political activism; and questions of alternative citizenship. My theoretical analyses are in general informed by post-structuralist philosophy, underpinned by a strong interest in contemporary political theory (e.g. Foucault, Agamben, Deleuze and Guattari). I combine these theoretical frameworks with empirical studies using qualitative analysis and field-oriented methodologies (including ethnographic methods).

I am currently working on a number of research projects. My monograph entitled Arab-Jewish Activism in Israel – Intercultural Citizenship in Ethnonational Divided Societies will offer an original perspective on the potential avenues of change by which the Arab-Israeli conflict might pass into a ‘zone’ of post-conflict. The monograph offers a critical analysis of how inter-community resistance contributes to the formation of an alternative approach to the question of the cultural encounter between Western and Islamic imaginaries. I am also working (together with Simone Bignall) on an edited collection entitled Agamben and Colonialism. This will be the first collection of essays to evaluate Agamben’s work from a postcolonial perspective. The essays in the collection deal with colonial and postcolonial issues in Russia, Israel and Palestine, Africa, the Americas, Asia and Australia. Agamben’s theories of the ‘state of exception’ and ‘bare life’ are situated in critical relation to the existence of these phenomena in the colonial/postcolonial world. The collection as a whole will provide new philosophical perspectives on postcolonial processes of transformation.

Current and latest Research Funded Projects

 transversal Politics

This is an European ‘Marie Curie’ funded project (2010-2013); the research aims at the elaboration of a philosophy of transformative action for multicultural societies in order to explain the challenge posed by existing practices of cross-community cooperation in ethnic conflict. This new approach draws on the tradition of transversal critical thought, and focuses on the revitalisation of radical agency and conceives cross-community practices as producing alternative political spaces.

The Diversification of the Political subject in Multicultural Societies – A Theoretical and Practical Approach

(2008-2010); its general aims were to elaborate post-structural methods of analysis for politics, mainly but not only, drawing on Gilles Deleuze’s philosophy. In terms of main publications, this project enabled three major works – two edited books and one monograph – to be published between December 2010 and June 2011: (EUP), Agamben and Colonialism (EUP), and Arab-Jewish Activism in Israel/Palestine (Ashgate), and seven refereed articles. As part of my academic efforts to wider the intersection between post-structural philosophy and politics, in last November I convened and organised an international conference held at Cardiff University, ‘Deleuze and Activism’ (12th-13th November 2009).

The Construction of Citizenship in Transversal Sports

My current research continues to explore questions around the potentials for alternative sociabilites for communities segregated by ethnic conflict. During 2010 (February-March) and in cooperation with Aura Mor-Sommerfeld, we conducted an ethnographic field study which focused on football players in teams based in Arab towns in Israel; the purpose of this research is to understand the workings of transversality in a specific social practice and to offer an alternative reading of Arab-Jewish relations in Israel. Findings will be published during 2011 as journal articles.

The Reception of Gilles Deleuze in Argentina

My interest in Gilles Deleuze’s oeuvre and his influence on different political settings has led me to an investigation of the reception of Deleuze’s philosophy in intellectual and activist life in Argentina (May 2010; qualitative research based on interviews). This research will revisit many of the key themes in the European writing on Deleuze, whilst arguing that a turn to a more ‘differentiated and contextualised’ Deleuze has profound implications for the implementation of his works. 

 Bilingual Education and Practical Interculturalism in Israel

Between 2006 and 2008, together with Dr. Aura Mor-Sommerfeld, I conducted research on the impact of Arabic-Hebrew bilingual education in Israel on the construction of new political subjectivities beyond the colonial and national divides. As part of the project we organised two international conferences and published a series of articles. The research comprised ethnographic research and participatory action research.

Biography

In 2008 I was awarded an Intra-European Marie-Curie Fellowship (FP7) to conduct a Post-Doctoral research under the supervision of Prof. Ian Buchanan in the Centre for Critical and Cultural Theory (2008-2010).

I did my undergraduate (Physics) and postgraduate studies (Political Sciences) in Israeli Universities; my PhD thesis dealt with a critic of multiculturalism from an intercultural perspective: Between Multiculturalism and Interculturalism – from Politics of Recognition to Politics of Familiarity.

Beyond academic life I'm involved in political activism mainly on Arab-Jewish cooperation in Israel/Palestine:

  • I was co-founder, and chair of the Arab-Jewish NGO “An Alternative Voice in the Galilee

  • Active in the PTA of the Jewish-Arab Bilingual School “Galilee

  • Coordinator of “Democracy and Co-existence Educational Programs”, Haifa Municipality, Israel (2004-2006).

  • In 2003, with the legal support of the Association for Civil Rights in Israel I appealed to the Supreme Court against the State. The petition (N0 152/03) looked for exemption of Reserve Military Service for parents raising their children. The petition was rejected.