Dr Katie Natanel
Lecturer in Gender Studies
I joined the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies as a Lecturer in Gender Studies in 2016, focusing on gender in the Middle East. My research interests are in how gender shapes political participation and mobilisation, conflict and political violence, and political emotions. I take particular interest in micro-politics, or the politics of everyday life, and psycho-social dynamics. As a feminist ethnographer I am additionally interested in feminist research methods, as well as feminist and gender theory more broadly. My research and teaching both emphasise creative methods, from visual ethnography to digital storytelling and participatory action research.
My recent book project - Sustaining Conflict: Apathy and Domination in Israel-Palestine - develops a groundbreaking theory of political apathy, using a combination of ethnographic material, narrative, and political, cultural, and feminist theory. It examines how the status quo is maintained in Israel-Palestine, at times even by the activities of Jewish Israelis who are working against the occupation of Palestinian territories. The book shows how hierarchies and fault lines in Israeli politics lead to fragmentation, and how even oppositional power becomes routine over time. Most importantly, it exposes how the occupation is sustained through a carefully crafted system that allows sympathetic Israelis to “knowingly not know,” further disconnecting them from the plight of Palestinians.
My research interests include political participation and mobilisation, feminist and gender theory, conflict and political violence, political emotions, feminist research methods, and more broadly gender in the Middle East.
I received my PhD in Gender Studies from SOAS, University of London, where I also earned an MA in Near and Middle Eastern Studies. Prior to my postdoctoral studies, I graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison (USA) with a BA in Women's Studies. I joined the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies as a Lecturer in Gender Studies in 2016.