Visiting Professor Offers Multidisciplinary Lecture Series on Global Issues

Visiting professor Jason Hickel, a lecturer at London School of Economics, spoke at Birzeit University in a April 18-22, 2016 lecture series  by Ibrahim Abu Lughod Institute for International Studies and the Council for British Research in the Levant.Hickel’s talks tackled the issues of poverty, aid agencies, and colonial regimes in South Africa and an ethnographic approach to research design.In his lecture “Rethinking Development: How the Aid Industry Misses the Point about Poverty,” he discussed the colonial and neoliberal legacies and their role in increasing poverty rates in third world countries.“Poverty is not caused primarily by domestic failures, as aid agencies would have us believe,” he said. “Rather, it is the inevitable outcome of a global economic order that is designed to serve a small number of rich countries at the expense of most of the rest of the world.”Hickel also gave a public lecture on the coloniality of power in South Africa, offering a comprehensive approach to the logic of apartheid, which aimed to force Africans off their lands and force them into “independent” mini-states or Bantustans, where control was outsourced to black authorities.Offering his anthropological experience, Hickel gave a workshop for PhD and MA students on the process of adopting a research design that fits the emergent realities of fieldwork, drawing on his own experience of ethnographic fieldwork in South Africa.Jason Hickel received his PhD in anthropology from the University of Virginia in 2011. He specializes on globalization, finance, democracy, violence, and ritual, and has been engaged in ethnographic and archival research in Southern Africa since 2004. His work has been funded by Fulbright-Hays, the National Science Foundation, the Wenner-Gren Foundation, and the Charlotte W. Newcombe Foundation. He presently holds a Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship.