CU Boulder Welcomes Middle East Historian for Annual Israel/Palestine Studies Lecture

connecting-with-the-enemy-book-coverNovember 17, 2016 – The Program in Jewish Studies and cosponsors welcome Middle East historian Professor Sheila H. Katz for the second annual Israel/Palestine Studies Professorship Annual Lecture at the University of Colorado Boulder. Katz’s talk, “Connecting with the Enemy: A Century of Palestinian-Israeli Joint Nonviolence,” will take place Thursday, December 1, 2016 at 7:00 pm in Old Main Theater on the CU Boulder campus, 1600 Pleasant St, Boulder CO 80302. RSVPs are appreciated to

A professor of Middle East History and Contemplative Studies in the multidisciplinary Liberal Arts Department at Berklee College of Music in Boston, Katz will speak on her new book “Connecting with the Enemy: A Century of Palestinian-Israeli Joint Nonviolence,” which will be on sale at the CU Book Store in the weeks prior to the event. Katz will conduct a book signing after her lecture.

Connecting with the Enemy” is the first comprehensive history of Palestinian and Israeli grassroots efforts to forge joint nonviolent alternatives to the lethal collision of their national movements. Katz says that, “to my knowledge, there has never been an attempt to reach an enemy in such widely diverse and creative ways by so many thousands of ordinary citizens during so many years of conflict.”

In her talk, Katz will chronicle those who resisted the dictates of their societies in order to stand face to face with the enemy. Together they spoke truth to power, witnessed the other’s suffering, demonstrated for justice, advocated for equality, monitored human rights, protected their environment, mourned together their children killed by the other, made music and art, and challenged policies that perpetuated violence. She will analyze their failures to achieve a just peace and details of their successes.

Professor Sheila H. Katz

Katz holds a doctorate in Middle East History from Harvard University where she specialized in Palestinian-Israeli relations, organized programs on Middle Eastern women, and taught for eight years. She has published numerous publications, including her book “Women and Gender in Early Jewish and Palestinian Nationalism” (University Press of Florida, 2003), and writes frequently for a variety of academic journals and popular publications. Katz founded one of the early networks for Palestinians and Israelis to confront tough issues together during the years she lived in Jerusalem while leading workshops on inequality in Israel, Palestine, Cyprus, Northern Ireland, England, France, Sweden, Italy, Greece, and the U.S. She is a founding teacher of the Nishmat Hayyim mediation collective in Brookline, MA.

During her visit to CU Boulder, Katz will also conduct a faculty and graduate student colloquium on the feminist impact on the history of Palestinian-Israeli joint nonviolence.

Katz’s visit is made possible through the Israel/Palestine Studies Professorship. The Program in Jewish Studies at CU Boulder is home to the first-ever endowed professorship in Israel/Palestine Studies, held by Liora Halperin, Assistant Professor of History and Jewish Studies. The professorship, which was established in 2015 thanks to an anonymous gift of $500,000, supports the study and discussion of the region and offers a model of university-based learning about a challenging set of issues. The endowment supports faculty research, student scholarships and learning opportunities, and visiting speakers coming to CU Boulder campus as part of the Israel/Palestine Studies’ annual lecture. Past speakers include bestselling author, Sayed Kashua.

This lecture is free and open to the public. RSVPs are appreciated as space is limited. Please email or call 303-492-7143. Katz’s book, “Connecting with the Enemy: A Century of Palestinian-Israeli Joint Nonviolence,” will be available for purchase at the CU Book Store a week prior to the event, and Katz will conduct a book signing after her lecture.

Sheila Katz’s visit is presented by the University of Colorado Boulder’s Program in Jewish Studies and cosponsored by CU’s Department of History, Department of Women and Gender Studies, Department of Asian Languages and Civilizations, and the Certificate Program in Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies. For more information about this event, please visit or call 303-492-7143.

The Program in Jewish Studies at the University of Colorado Boulder provides an outstanding liberal arts education, fosters critical thought and instills an appreciation of humanity’s interrelatedness and diversity by studying one of the world’s oldest global people. With internationally acclaimed faculty engaged in cutting-edge research and opportunities for students to study with leaders working in the field of Jewish Studies, the program offers an innovative curriculum designed to provide a strong foundation in cultural education and connect Jewish thought and text to action and people’s lives.  The Program in Jewish Studies offers a Bachelor of Arts degree in Jewish Studies as well as minors in Jewish Studies and Hebrew/Israel Studies. For more information visit

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