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Becoming Intercultural - the Diversification of the Political Subject in Multicultural Societies A Theoretical and Practical Approach

Final Report Summary - BECOMING IC (Becoming Intercultural - the diversification of the political subject in multicultural societies a theoretical and practical approach)

The past two academic years (2008 - 2010), during the course of my Marie Curie Intra European Fellowship, were rewarding and crucial in the development of my academic career. I conducted my project 'The diversification of the political subject in multicultural societies - a theoretical and practical approach' at the Centre for Critical and Cultural Theory, in the School of English, Communication and Philosophy, at Cardiff University. At the heart of this project, I explored questions emerging from the implementation of post structuralist philosophy - specifically the philosophy of the French thinker Gilles Deleuze - for the analysis of politics, with an emphasis in the intersection between civil society and ethnic conflict.

This led me to explore, in particular, theoretical issues regarding the application of Deleuze's works in political theory, and different scenes and moments in the history and present of the Israeli / Palestinian conflict. Specifically, I focussed upon the emergent political subjectivities in Israeli civil society, including questions of political activism, alternative citizenship and new sociabilities. These investigations enabled me to highlight intercultural connections as alternative ways of being political. The implementation of post-structuralist theory in civil society and ethnic conflict is a relatively new area of inquiry within politics, sociology, human geography and related disciplines and I believe it is of considerable significance for future avenues of research in social studies.

Pivotal in reaching these conclusions were the fieldworks I conducted during the two years of the fellowship. In Israel/Palestine I carried out two field projects during 2009 and 2010. First, 'The construction of citizenship in transversal sports' was an ethnographic field study which focused on football players in teams based in Arab towns in Israel; the purpose of this research was to understand the workings of intercultural communication in a specific social practice and to offer an alternative reading of Arab-Jewish relations in Israel. The second field project, 'Bilingual education and practical interculturalism in Israel', was an ethnographic field study that analysed the impact of Arabic-Hebrew bilingual education in Israel on the construction of new political subjectivities beyond the colonial and national divides. My interest in Deleuze's oeuvre and his influence on different political settings also led me to an investigation of the reception of his philosophy in intellectual and activist life in Argentina. In May 2010, I conducted the study 'The reception of Gilles Deleuze in Argentina'. These three fieldworks contributed decisively in the development of my research methodologies and comprise the cornerstone of my new publications. (The research findings will also inform further publications in the near future.)

During the course of this fellowship, I received unconditional administrative and academic support from the School of English, Communication and Philosophy, and especially from my supervisor, Professor Ian Buchanan. Without the encouragement of any of these, I could not have produced many of the components of my work. Words fail to express my deep gratitude to Cardiff University. Further, the institutional and substantial economic support of the European Fellowship has contributed to a turning point in my academic career. Now, I face my future in the academic world equipped with the proper skills and resources. The decision to undertake a two-year framework for the European fellowship was completely right for me. It provided me an opportunity to create a significant impact on my professional career. I would like to offer my profound thanks to the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7).

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