The mission of the Center for Palestine Studies is to promote the academic study of Palestine in all its forms and to offer a dedicated site for sustained interchanges among scholars and students. The Center's activities aim to advance the production and circulation of knowledge of Palestinian history, culture, society, and politics in diverse scholarly fields, including history, literary studies, the social sciences, religion, philosophy, law, archaeology, the arts, and architecture.
Founded in January 2010, the Center for Palestine Studies is the first such center to be established in an academic institution in the United States. Columbia University is currently the professional home to a unique concentration of distinguished scholars on Palestine and Palestinians, as well as to award-winning supporting faculty in a variety of disciplines. Building on these wide-ranging and multi-disciplinary academic interests, the creation of the Center for Palestine Studies recognizes and further engages these world-class academic resources.
The Center will serve as an institutional home at Columbia for faculty, post-doctoral researchers, and students working on Palestine and Palestinian studies. The Center is actively developing contacts with scholars and other institutions for the purposes of academic cooperation. Through its diverse activities, the Center for Palestine Studies will have a national and global reach. Enhancements to the curriculum, library and faculty at Columbia will translate into new resources to advance the academic study of Palestine and Palestinians throughout the United States and the world.
A principal mandate of the Center for Palestine Studies is to promote scholarship and facilitate exchanges with scholars, students, and academic institutions in the West Bank and Gaza, and among refugees and others in the Palestinian diaspora. Academics in the Occupied Territories labor under numerous and onerous constraints. The Center is committed to supporting and defending the academic freedom of students, faculty and schools in the Occupied Territories, as well as elsewhere in the world where scholars and students carry out academic work about Palestine and Palestinians.
The creation of the Center for Palestine Studies honors the specific scholarly legacy of Professor Edward Said at the university where he taught for forty years. Through his extensive writings, Said developed a critical dialogue about Palestine in the United States, and he did so from his academic base at Columbia. Edward Said's legacy continues to draw prominent scholars of Palestine to the university. Columbia annually hosts the prestigious Said Lectures, which bring distinguished international figures to the campus. The personal books and papers of Edward Said have been archived under the auspices of the Columbia University Libraries.
The Center for Palestine Studies is located on the main university campus, in the newly renovated Knox Hall, where it is part of the Middle East Institute. Established in 1954, the Middle East Institute has been a leading presence in interdisciplinary approaches to the study of the Middle East from the rise of Islam until the present.
Mail address: 606 W. 122nd Street, Room 301A, New York, NY 10027