POSTPONED due to COVID-19 Rachel Havrelock will explore water diplomacy in the Middle East. She will examine the era of the Oslo Peace Accords and the many joint Israeli-Palestinian organizations that arose subsequently. Some twenty-five years later, only one group, the trilateral Jordanian-Palestinian-Israeli NGO Ecopeace Middle East, survives. Although confronting Climate Change and conflict at once presents considerable challenges, Ecopeace's unique mode of environmental peacebuilding establishes shared knowledge and awareness before moving participants toward collective planning and advocacy. This talk covers Middle East water history and the innovations making new forms of water use and distribution possible. After appraising new projects on the horizon, she will discuss their applicability or relevance to Illinois and North American waters.
Dr. Havrelock is the founder and director of the Univerity of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) Freshwater Lab and co-creator of the Freshwater Stories digital platform. She is an Associate Professor of English at UIC and author of River Jordan: The Mythology of a Dividing Line(University of Chicago Press), as well as the forthcoming The Joshua Generation: Israeli Occupation and the Bible (Princeton University Press, 2020).
A childhood of freshwater swimming around Detroit and the Great Lakes fed Dr. Havrelock’s interest in water and environmental peacemaking with the NGO Ecopeace Middle East. Havrelock’s current book project, Pipeline: How Oil Created the Modern Middle East and How Water Can Transform It, chronicles the role of oil extraction and infrastructure in the militarization of the Middle East and suggests how regional water management could transform the landscape. She conducted research in the United Kingdom, supported by a fellowship at the University of Cambridge and in the Middle East on the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Dean’s Research award. She received an alumni impact award from the U.S. Department of State Global Fellows Program in June 2014. In addition to the Middle East, Dr. Havrelock’s work addresses the Great Lakes as a transborder water system both abundant and imperiled. She holds grants from the Mott Foundation and the Humanities Without Walls Initiative funded by the Mellon Foundation.