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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Centre for Ethnography Speaker Series - The Anthropology of Morality and Ethics

Please be reminded of the first event of the Centre for Ethnography
Speaker Series - The Anthropology of Morality and Ethics - featuring Prof.
Anne Meneley. Below are further details.

For more information contact:

The Qualities of Palestinian Olive Oil
Anne Meneley, Trent University
Wednesday, 31 October, 3-5pm, Centre for Ethnography, UTSC.

In this paper I focus on a particular case: olive oil in 20th century
Palestine. I discuss how the semiotic metadiscourses regarding olive oil are
particularly politically charged in contemporary Palestine. A shared
Mediterranean valuing of olive oil for ritual, curing, beautification, and
nurture was effectively torn asunder with the establishment of the state of
Israel in1948, when separation of the "Peoples of the Book" (of the
monotheistic tradition) and the question of who "owns" olive oil came to the
forefront as much as it did for who "owns" the land. A semiotic "flattening"
is the current emphasis on the importance of the production of olive oil as
staking a claim to the land that Palestinians already own, but which is
under continual threat of confiscation. This has meant a dramatic
transformation in the qualisigns highlighted in contemporary Palestinian
olive oil: to be saleable abroad, olive oil must be determined to be
"extra-virgin", a quality that makes no reference to the spiritual world,
but rather to an internationally recognized domain of connoisseurship.

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