Call for Papers | Special Issue: Speaking out against genocide and repression

Journal: Public Anthropologist
Editor-in-Chief: Antonio De Lauri
Special issue guest editors: Lori Allen and Heidi Mogstad

From Cape Town and Jakarta to London and DC, masses of people have taken to the streets demonstrating against Israel’s ongoing destruction of Gaza and ethnic cleansing of Palestinians. Across the world, scholars have also used their pens and voices, publishing statements and op-eds, organizing teach-ins, and demanding national and academic boycotts, disinvestment, and sanctions against Israel.

However, in Europe and the United States especially, repression of Palestinian rights activism is intensifying, as censorship by governments and universities spreads. Palestinian students and scholars are particularly targeted, as are people of color. Those calling for Palestinian rights are being harassed, intimated, silenced, hounded out of their jobs, and criminalized. This includes anti-Zionist Jews who have been accused of betraying their people, their heritage, or of hating themselves for demanding justice for Palestinians.

In this political climate of ruthless and sanctioned assaults on Palestinian lives, academic freedom, and humanity, it is more important than ever that scholars speak out. And this despite the fact—and maybe because of the fact—that scholarly interventions can come at personal and professional costs. This is a time to speak out even though writing and talking may seem futile weapons against military violence. Because speaking out from a position of academic privilege may risk crowding out others, especially Palestinians, whose rights, freedoms, perspectives, and voices have so long been denied by the international community, this is a time for humility. But it is also a time for energy and all hands on deck.

In this special issue, we invite anthropologists to reflect on their responsibilities and experiences of speaking and acting out in response to Israel’s assaults on Gaza, and to consider what is at stake and what is possible through intervening inside or outside the academy. We also invite contributors to reflect on broader questions raised by the current situation, including but not limited to topics such as: the exceptionalization of Palestine/Israel, institutional voice and silence, personal and institutional incentives not to speak out, the possibilities and limitations of solidarity within and outside the bounds of the neoliberal university, ethical dilemmas and complicity, the limitations of language, academic freedom and freedom of speech, and anthropology as a launching pad to collective action. While we ask contributors to situate their interventions within the current historical and political moment, we welcome reflections on past engagements, cross-case comparisons, and pieces that trace longer histories of censorship and repression.

Submission details
We invite submissions of 1) scholarly articles between 6000–9000 words; and 2) alternative and experimental forms, such as poems, notes, short stories, interviews, conversations, and essays between 1000–3000 words.

An abstract/pitch (approx 250 words), title, and author bio should be sent via email to both of the Special Issue co-editors, Heidi Mogstad, and Lori Allen,, before 1 March 2024.

The authors of selected submissions will receive initial feedback from the guest editors by 20 March. Full submissions will be due in to the Public Anthropologist’s editorial manager via this link by 30 June 2024.

Instruction for authors, including format and referencing can be found here.

Contributions will be double peer-reviewed, and we aim to reply to all submissions within 2 months.

The estimated publication date of the special issue is December 2024.

Please email the Special Issue co-editors with any questions: Heidi Mogstad, and Lori Allen,

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