Samera Esmeir F'17
ACLS Fellowship Program 2017
University of California, Berkeley
The Struggle that Remains: Between the World and the International
“The Struggle that Remains” tracks the modern entry of the word international into the English language, and theorizes its emergence as a contending signifier of the world, as well as its reconfiguration of horizons of struggle. It investigates several key episodes in the conceptual history of the international: its juridical emergence in the late eighteenth century, its socialist itinerary in the second half of the nineteenth century, its institutionalization in the interwar period, and the joining of its juridical and socialist itineraries during decolonization. The book explores these episodes as it tracks the concept’s life in modern Palestine, and historicizes its varied relevance to three Palestinian revolutionary struggles: under Ottoman rule in 1834, against British colonization from 1936 to 1939, and during decolonization in the 1970s. The narrative revolves around how the international figured in the political lexicons and practices, the revolutions and the visions of the world it enabled and disabled, and the struggle that remains in its excess.