Northwestern Events Calendar


The 1948 War | Israel & Palestine: Joint Speaker Series Exploring Fundamental History

Israel & Palestine: Joint Speaker Series Exploring Fundamental History

When: Monday, May 6, 2024
5:00 PM - 6:30 PM CT

Where: Norris University Center, Lake Room (#2-180), 1999 Campus Drive, Evanston, IL 60208 map it

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Contact: Margaret Sagan  

Group: Israel & Palestine: Joint Speaker Series Exploring Fundamental History

Co-Sponsor: The Crown Family Center for Jewish and Israel Studies
Buffett Institute for Global Affairs
Middle East and North African Studies

Category: Global & Civic Engagement


Please note the location for this lecture in the series has changed. It will now take place in the Lake Room (#2-180) in the Norris University Center at 1999 Campus Drive.

Since this fall, intense attention has turned to Israel and Palestine. Many on campus who are following events find themselves with basic questions about actors, geography, contested narratives and even the words used to describe what is happening. This speaker series aims to help fill some of these gaps. Jointly sponsored by the Middle East and North Africa Studies Program, the Crown Family Center for Jewish and Israel Studies and the Roberta Buffett Institute for Global Affairs, the initiative seeks to offer the Northwestern community knowledge on this vital history from the late nineteenth century through the mid-twentieth century. Sessions will feature renowned scholars from the U.S. and abroad from a wide range of personal and academic backgrounds, and are open to members of the Northwestern community.

In this talk, Shay Hazkani will provide an overview of the 1948 war that commenced following the United Nations' approval of a partition plan for Mandatory Palestine. Over the course of some 20 months, the war went through several stages: the first was characterized by a civil war between Jews and Palestinians, both assisted by volunteers from the outside; the second, starting on May 15, was marked by an invasion of the regular armies of several Arab states to Palestine in an attempt to thwart partition. The war resulted in Israel's independence and the erasure of Arab Palestine, in what came to be known as the Nakba (catastrophe). 750,000 Palestinians were either expelled by Jewish forces, or fled for their lives and denied the option to return to their homes at the conclusion of the war. Some 500 Palestinian villages in the territory of Mandate Palestine that became Israel were conquered and subsequently razed.

Shay Hazkani is Associate Professor of History and Jewish Studies at the University of Maryland, College Park. He specializes in social and cultural history of Palestine/Israel. His first book, Dear Palestine: A Social History of the 1948 War (Stanford University Press, 2021), was the recipient of the Korenblat and Azrieli-Concordia book awards, and longlisted for the Cundill History Prize. The book is slated to be published in Hebrew and in Arabic in 2024. Shay is also the co-creator of The Soldier’s Opinion, a documentary based on his research. The film is the recipient of the 2023 American Historical Association John E. O'Connor Film Award. Shay received his PhD in History and Judaic studies from New York University, and he holds a Master’s in Arab Studies from Georgetown University. Prior to his academic career, Shay worked as a journalist in Israel covering the occupied Palestinian territories and Israeli military.

Registration is recommended but not required.

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