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Title: Intimate occupation : sexual biopolitics in colonized Palestine
Author: Medien, Kathryn
ISNI:       0000 0004 8497 7280
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2018
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This thesis examines how Israel's colonial occupation of Palestine is manifest and maintained through sexuality and sexual violence. Beginning with a review of existing literature, the thesis assesses the relevance of an analytical framework of biopolitics to examine contemporary sexual and reproductive politics in Palestine/Israel. In particular, it builds on existing scholarship that has emphasised the infrastructural nature of sexuality to occupation by demonstrating that sexuality is integral to, and part of the militarised and technological infrastructure of, biopolitical colonial occupation. This analysis of sexual infrastructure is then developed through three empirical case studies. First, I examine the structures and practices of militarized sexual violence that are shown to be central to Israeli military warfare, and in so doing challenge the assumptions of certain feminist human rights discourses. Second, I examine cases of contemporary Israeli antimiscegenation politics, demonstrating the biopolitical targeting of love and intimacy in Palestine/Israel and drawing attention to its imbrication with older colonial politics of racial science. Third, I analyse reproductive medicine and technology, drawing attention to the ways in which access to such provisions are differentiated along racial and religious divisions. I further explore how, in the context of Palestine/Israel, reproductive technologies can function as both sites of unbearable racist colonial violence and scenes of life, hope and anti-colonial resistance. Each case study displays a different dimension of the sexual infrastructure of occupation and draws out the various ways that Israel's biopolitics of sexuality works with and is productive of discourses of whiteness, imperialism, anti-Black racism, Orientalism and heteronormativity. Through each case study, this thesis also examines the various moments in which the assumptions of certain liberal feminist theory and activism and notions of humanitarianism come to be complicit with colonial occupation, making a contribution to existing scholarship on feminist biopolitics and femo and homo nationalism. Finally this thesis concludes by arguing for an understanding of the sexual infrastructures of colonial occupation as a means to both empirically analyse sexuality and sexual violence and to enable the situated cultivation of specific forms of creative resistance to such infrastructures.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Economic and Social Research Council
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: HM Sociology ; HQ The family. Marriage. Woman