Jennifer Kelly

Professional Bio 

Jennifer Kelly is a University of California President’s Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Communication at University of California, San Diego. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin in American Studies with a Portfolio in Women’s and Gender Studies. She received her M.A. in Interdisciplinary Humanities and Social Thought from New York University and her B.A. in Literature and Feminist Studies from University of California, Santa Cruz. Her research broadly engages questions of settler colonialism, U.S. empire, and the fraught politics of both tourism and solidarity. She is at work on her first book, Fragmented Narration: Solidarity Tourism in Occupied Palestine, a multi-sited ethnographic study of solidarity tourism in Palestine that draws from research she conducted as a Palestinian American Research Center Fellow. Writings from this project appear in American Quarterly (September 2016) and in the edited volume Theorizing Fieldwork in the Humanities: Methods, Reflections, and Approaches to the Global South (Palgrave, 2016; eds. Shalini Puri and Debra Castillo).

Area of Expertise 

My central area of expertise is U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East, specifically in Israel/Palestine. In my work, I consider questions of U.S. policy and influence in the region as well as solidarity organizing between U.S. activists and activists in Israel/Palestine. I explore these topics in my current book project, Fragmented Narration: Solidarity Tourism in Occupied Palestine, which looks at how Palestinian organizers and anti-occupation Israeli organizers refashion conventional forms of tourism to the region in order to educate tourists about Israeli occupation and guide them toward Palestine solidarity activism. In particular, I focus on the ways in which organizers in Israel/Palestine encourage U.S. tourists and other internationals to understand their own government’s role in facilitating Israeli occupation and to determine what steps they can take when they return home to work against the displacement they witness in Palestine. As a scholar and professor of American Studies and Women’s and Gender Studies, I also have expertise in colonialism in North America, past and present U.S. empire, histories of feminist and queer organizing, racial inequality, and the politics of the Christian Right.

Workshop Locations 
Institutional Affiliation 
Professional Title 
Postdoctoral Fellow