Recent and historical events in Gaza discussed by panel of York and U of T profs

Contextualizing a Cycle of Violence: Gaza on the Ground, an upcoming panel of professors from York University and the University of Toronto, will take on recent and historical events in Gaza from an academic standpoint.

The four panellists will use an analytical, contextualized approach in their discussions of occurrences in Gaza. The panel, sponsored by U of T’s Department of Political Science, will run on Thursday, April 2 from 5 to 7:30pm in the George Ignatieff Theatre, Trinity College, University of Toronto, 6 Hoskin Ave., Toronto.

Each speaker will provide a contextualization to the cycle of violence in the region. York political science Professor Saeed Rahnema (left) will talk about the historical context in the larger Israeli-Palestine framework, diasporas and fundamentalisms. He has served as the director of York’s School of Public Policy & Administration, coordinator of the Political Science Program in York’s Atkinson Faculty of Liberal & Professional Studies, as a senior officer in the United Nations Development Program and as a director of the Middle East Economic Association. He is co-author of Diaspora by Design: Muslims in Canada and Beyond (2009) and co-editor of Iran After the Revolution: Crisis of an Islamic State (1995). Currently, Rahnema is co-director of an international research project on Muslims in the West.

York Professor Martin Lockshin (right) will discuss terror, refugees, ethics and possibilities of available compromise. Lockshin teaches in the Department of Languages, Literatures & Linguistics in the Humanities Division of York’s Faculty of Arts. He was recently director of York’s Centre for Jewish Studies. His major scholarly interest is the history of Jewish Bible interpretation, but he also does work in the fields of medieval Jewish history, Jewish-Christian polemics and general Jewish intellectual history.

Political science Professor Ramin Jahanbegloo (left), the Massey College Scholar-at-Risk at U of T, will look at humanitarianism, ethics and non-violence. Jahanbegloo is also a research fellow in U of T’s Centre for Ethics. He taught at U of T from 1997 to 2001. Later, he served as the head of the Department of Contemporary Thought of the Cultural Research Bureau in Tehran, and from 2006 to 2007 was Rajni Kothari Chair in Democracy at the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies in New Delhi, India. He returned to U of T in 2008. He is the author of India Revisited: Conversations on Contemporary India (2008), The Clash of Intolerances (2007) and Iran: Between Tradition and Modernity (2004).

Professor Emanuel Adler (right), the Andrea and Charles Bronfman Professor of Israeli Studies at U of T, will tackle strategic analysis, just-war doctrine, proportionality and ethics.

He is best known for his contribution to the subjects of epistemic communities, security communities and more generally, constructivism in international relations. Adler is the author of The Power of Ideology: The Quest for Technological Autonomy in Argentina and Brazil (1987) and co-author of Progress in Postwar International Relations (1991).

The session will be moderated by Professor Melissa Williams (left), director of the Centre for Ethics at U of T. Williams teaches the history of political thought, contemporary democratic theory, feminist theory, multiculturalism and American political thought. She is the author of Voice, Trust and Memory: Marginalized Groups and the Failings of Liberal Representation (1998), and co-editor of Identity, Rights and Constitutional Transformation (1999).

The event is also meant to create a political space for audience members to ask intellectually stimulating questions.

The panel is free to attend. For more information, visit the U of T Department of Political Science Web site or e-mail