Traces of Racial Exception Book Launch

05/12/2018 17:00 - 19:00

ACRAWSA and the University of Sydney is delighted to be co-hosting the Sydney book launch for Ronit Lentin’s new book, Traces of Racial Exception Racializing Israeli Settler Colonialism (Bloomsbury 2018).

Author Ronit Lentin will be in conversation with Dr Lana Tatour (University of New South Wales) and the event will be chaired by Dr Lucia Sorbera, Department of Arabic Language and Cultures, University of Sydney.

All welcome!

About the book:

Positioning race front and centre, this book theorizes that political violence, in the form of a socio-political process that differentiates between human and less-than-human populations, is used by the state of Israel in racializing and ruling the citizens of occupied Palestine.

Lentin argues that Israel’s rule over Palestine is an example of Agamben’s state of exception, Goldberg’s racial state and Wolfe’s settler colony; the Israeli racial settler colony employs its laws to rule besieged Palestine, while excluding itself and its Jewish citizen-colonists from legal instruments and governmental technologies. Governing through emergency legislation and through practices of exception, emergency, necessity and security, Israel positions itself outside domestic and international law.

Deconstructing Agamben’s Eurocentric theoretical position Lentin shows that it occludes colonialism, settler colonialism and anti-colonialism and fails to specifically foreground race; instead she combines the work of Wolfe, who proposes race as a trace of settler colonialism, and Weheliye, who argues that Agamben’s western-centric understanding of exception fail to speak from explicitly racialized and gendered standpoints.

Employing existing media, activist, and academic accounts of racialization this book deliberately breaks from white, Western theorizations of biopolitics, exception, and bare life, and instead foregrounds race and gender in analysing settler colonial conditions in Israel.


“Ronit Lentin takes readers on the essential journey of understanding the interconnections between the various dimensions of Israel’s permanent war against the Palestinians: settler colonialism, race, and self-proclaimed exceptionalism are explained in this book with a rich and sophisticated theoretical framework and an immensity of illustrations. Lentin’s book demonstrates that the comprehension of the Israeli control matrix is a necessary step in our attempts to contribute to the decolonisation of Palestine. This is a stimulating book for those seeking justice for the Palestinian people. ” –  Marcelo Svirsky, Lecturer in International Studies, University of Wollongong, Australia,

“Despite race being constitutive to the Zionist ideology and the apparatus of the Israeli settler state, there has been a neglect of race in the theorisation of the Israeli state. Traces of Racial Exception makes an important and long-due intervention by integrating race and suggesting an understanding of Israel as a racial state. Lentin skilfully shows how Israel has adopted and adapted multiple regimes of racialisation that operate differently in the management and governance of Palestinians, African refugees and Mizrahi Jews. This book is essential reading for those interested in understanding the racial architecture of the Israeli regime.” –  Lana Tatour, Visiting Lecturer, School of Social Sciences, University of New South Wales, Australia,

“Ronit Lentin’s Traces of Racial Exception is an important contribution to theorizing the state of Israel. It is a bold, daring and brilliant anti-racist critical elucidation of the state of Israel, defining the Ashkenazi state and society as white supremacist with policies of dehumanization and elimination of the Other (Palestinian natives and non-Ashkenazi, Arab/Mizrahi Jews). By going beyond the ethnic/national paradigm, the book establishes race/racism as Israel’s settler colonial prime mover. Race and gender are intersected with the state’s settler colonial rule, enriching existing critical theorization of Israel. Evidence from the racialized everyday life experiences of Palestinian natives and non-white Jewish others is provided throughout the process of theorization. Highly recommended for feminist and other critical scholars and students in general and those of Israel more specifically.” –  Nahla Abdo, Professor of Sociology, Carleton University, Canada,


Related upcoming events

  • ACRASWA AGM invitatioon
    07/03/2019 14:00 - 07/03/2019 18:00

    ACRAWSA members and friends are invited to attend our Annual General Meeting and yarning session. The event is an opportunity to find out more about what the Australian Critical Race & Whiteness Studies, the ACRAWSA Blog and the CRAWS journal team have been up to since our relaunch in mid 2017. We would like to find out what our members, supporters and friends would like to see critical race studies and research become in Australia and how we can help shape these directions into the future.

    Join us to yarn about our future, have a cup of tea and a slice of cake!

    Following the yarning session, we will hold our Annual General Meeting during which we will also be holding elections for three vacant positions on the executive committee - Vice President, Secretary, and Communications Officer.

    A nomination form and position descriptions can be downloaded here . Please email your nomination to by 5pm on Wednesday March 6 2019.

    Please email Alana Lentin to discuss these roles further of you are interested in standing for any of these one year positions.

    To stand for and vote in the elections, you will have to be an ACRAWSA member. You can join on the day, or by visiting this link.


    Apologies & attendance


    • President
    • Treasurer (including financial report)
    • Post Grad Representative
    • ACRAWSA Blog
    • CRAWS Journal

    Yarning session on ACRAWSA's future.

    Election of committee members

    General Business

    Please RSVP to confirm your attendance by emailing

    The event will also be live-streamed on the ACRAWSA Facebook page.


  • Picture of a black woman whose mouth is covered by a white hand
    03/04/2019 14:00 - 03/04/2019 16:00

    Anti-racism is often dismissed as political correctness or identity politics. To speak out and act against racism is to attract accusations of ‘playing the race card’ or ‘shutting down free speech’. At a time when collective mobilization that makes demands on the state is delegitimized in favour of individualised activism that celebrates racial illiteracy, academics and activists are challenged to build new modes of participation, activism and political communities. What are the stakes, the threats, the challenges, the lessons, the hopes and goals of anti-racism work today? In this panel discussion, academics and activists reflect on their experiences of ‘speaking out’ against racism and injustice.        

    Chaired by Dr Alana Lentin, Associate Professor in Cultural and Social Analysis at Western Sydney University. She works on the critical theorization of race, racism and antiracism. She is co-editor of the Rowman and Littlefield International book series, Challenging Migration Studies and the President of the Australian Critical Race & Whiteness Studies Association (2017-19). In 2017, she was Hans Speier Visiting Professor of Sociology at the New school for Social Research in New York.


    Amy Thunig is a proud Gamilaroi woman, raised on Darug and Awabakal lands. An associate lecturer in the Department of Educational Studies at Macquarie University, Amy holds a Masters Degree in Teaching, and is currently undertaking her PhD titled 'sovereign women: why academia?'

    Dr Waqas Tufail is a Senior Lecturer in Criminology at Leeds Beckett University. His research interests include policing, anti-Muslim racism and racialization and his research and advocacy concern the policing of marginalised communities and the criminalisation of Muslim minorities.Waqas is currently engaged in a number of research projects including an ongoing collaboration with Professor Scott Poynting from the University of Auckland examining the criminalisation of Muslim minorities in the UK and Australia.

    Atem Atem came to Australia from Sudan in 2002 as a refugee. He completed a degree in Medical Sciences (Medical Laboratory) and worked as a Pathology laboratory technician for three years before going back to university and studying Social Policy. Atem has been working with refugee and migrant communities in various roles supporting them with settlement and adjustment to life in Australia. Currently, Atem is writing a PhD thesis on the settlement of Sudanese in the Western suburbs of Sydney.

    Dr Paula Abood is a community cultural development practitioner, writer and educator. She has worked with diverse communities in capacity building projects across Western Sydney for 30 years and has written for performance, radio, publications and film. In 2007, Paula completed a doctorate on race, gender and representation of Arabs in Australia. Paula has just been awarded an Australia Council’s Fellowship for Community Arts and Cultural Development.

    Dr Randa Abdel-Fattah is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Department of Sociology at Macquarie University where she is researching the generational impact of the war on terror on Muslim and non-Muslim youth born into a post 9/11 world. The award-winning author of 11 novels published and translated in over 20 countries, Randa writes across a wide range of genres and actively seeks to translate her academic work into creative and public interventions which reshape dominant narratives around race, Islamophobia, social justice, Palestine/Middle East and feminism.

    Please RSVP:




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