News

Announcing the first recipients of the Palestine and Law Fellowship, Suhad Bishara and Jamal Nusseibeh

The Center for Palestine Studies at Columbia University is pleased to announce the first recipients of the inaugural Palestine & Law Fellowship, Suhad Bishara and Jamal Nusseibeh. The Fellowship is designed to both deepen the scholarly understanding of the complex ways in which law and legality are implicated in Palestine, and to provide a supportive environment for scholars of Palestine to conduct research. The Fellow will participate in the rich interdisciplinary environment of the Center for Palestine Studies, Columbia Law School, and Columbia University more generally.

Suhad Bishara is a senior attorney and the Head of the Land and Planning Unit of Adalah - The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel. She has litigated numerous constitutional rights cases before the Israeli Supreme Court concerning the land rights of Palestinian citizens of Israel and Palestinians living in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT). She is an Editor of Makan - Adalah's Journal of Land, Planning and Justice, and she co-authored a report entitled "Nomads Against Their Will", in 2011 about the State of Israel's attempt to expel Arab Bedouin citizens of the state from their village in the Naqab (Negev) desert.

Bishara's research project will focus on challenging the applicability of the rule of law and constitutional protection on the Palestinian citizens of Israel by examining the case of the unrecognized Palestinian Bedouin villages in the Naqab (Negev) desert in southern Israel. Due to the lack of recognition, these villages lack basic infrastructure and services, and the residents live under constant threat of home demolition and eviction orders. She will examine whether and how today's judicial policy towards the unrecognized villages, is a continuation of the historical, judicial policy used in Palestinian land confiscation cases in the aftermath of the Nakba in 1948 and through the 1950s, when the Israeli judicial system suspended the rule of law and constitutional protections. Bishara will also investigate the connection between the past and the present by examining the contribution of the law and the judiciary to the continuation of the Nakba on territorial matters in Israel.

Dr. Jamal Nusseibeh is an Assistant Professor of Law at Al Quds University (AQU) in Jerusalem, where he developed and taught courses on Human Rights Law and on Domestic and International Arbitration. He also devised and taught a course on Jerusalem for graduate students enrolled in AQU's Jerusalem Studies program, analyzing the city from a legal and political perspective. From Fall 2010 until 2013, he also served as Vice President of AQU, in which capacity he was responsible for managing the legal and development strategy of the University in Jerusalem, navigating the unique legal and political challenges faced by what is one of two remaining major Palestinian institutions in the city.

Nusseibeh obtained his initial degrees from the Institute of Political Studies (Sciences Po) in Paris, and worked as speechwriter and aide to the Speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council before going to England to study postgraduate law at City University and become a Barrister, as a Queen Mother Scholar at the Middle Temple. He obtained his LL.M. (Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar) and J.S.D. (Joseph V. Heffernan Fellow) from Columbia University, with a dissertation entitled International Economic Dispute Settlement: Morality and Authority in Investment Arbitration and at the WTO . Nusseibeh is interested in questions of law, morality, sovereignty and authority, and the multiple novel interactions of these concepts in the Palestinian context. At CPS, he plans to write specifically on Jerusalem, using the course he developed at AQU as a framework for an empirical analysis of the city, and relying in part on his practical experience of the University's struggle to survive in Jerusalem as a case study of the complexities of long-term occupation and the increasingly dire situation in Jerusalem in the years since Oslo. He will be looking at questions such as how people do, and are supposed to, behave in the absence of (acceptable/accepted) law and (acceptable/accepted) sovereignty, and whether there may be practical solutions to improve the situation for persons (people, institutions) in the absence of macro-level political decision-making (is this a transitional justice situation, or is it no longer transitional?). By re-viewing Jerusalem empirically, he hopes also to reach some normative/prescriptive conclusions as to how Palestinians (and others?) in and from Jerusalem can/ought to interact with the multiple (quasi-) legal/political systems that vie for control over their lives.



SOAS and I.B.Tauris Launch New Series on Palestine Studies

Call for Papers

Dr Hassan Hakimian, MBI Al Jaber Reader in Economics with reference to the Middle East, Director of the London Middle East Institute (LMEI) at SOAS and Iradj Bagherzade, Chairman and Editorial Director of I.B.Tauris have announced an agreement to launch a new series of academic books relating to the history and contemporary world of Palestine.

The series - The SOAS Palestine Studies Series - will be developed under the direction of the SOAS Centre for Palestine Studies (CPS), chaired by Professor Gilbert Achcar, Professor of Development Studies and International Relations at SOAS.

The series aims to publish three to five titles each year and will comprise peer-reviewed works by established and first-time authors in the vast field of Palestine studies including politics, history, media, development studies, sociology, visual culture and current affairs.cademic publishing.

To launch the new series, LMEI and I.B.Tauris have announced a call for manuscripts, inviting scholars and academics to submit their proposals relating to Palestine studies.

For further details on the call for manuscripts contact Louise Hosking at LMEI LH2@soas.ac.uk.

Read the full story here .

Santiago Palestine Film Fest Concludes with Resounding Success

Sunday marked the last day of the inaugural Palestine Film Festival in Chile sponsored by the Center for Palestine Studies, the Columbia Global Center in Santiago, the Center for Arab Studies at the University of Chile, and hosted at Cineteca Nacional de Chile.

The Festival brought together a showcase of Palestinian and Chilean artists including musician Ana Tijoux, iconic Chilean Palestinian filmmaker Miguel Littin, and Claudia Aravena Abughosh, Palestinian Chilean video artist.

The program featured the screening of 13 films, 7 of them feature films, 12 of which premiered for the first time in Chile. Opening night on June 23 kicked off with introductions by Columbia's Vice President for Columbia Global Centers and Global Development Safwan Masri, Columbia's Dean of the School of the Arts Carol Becker and María Eugenia Góngora Díaz, Dean of the Faculty of Humanities at the University of Chile.

For the full program click here: Muestra Cine Palestino.





Palestine film festival debuts in Chile
By Mauren Clare Murphy on The Electronic Intifada

The first Palestinian film festival in Santiago, Chile makes its opening night debut this evening.

Hany Abu-Assad's Oscar-nominated Omar is being screened at tonight’s opening ceremony, followed by several days of programming representing various facets of Palestine’s rich cinematic history.

Selected works include They Do Not Exist (1974) by revolutionary filmmaker Mustafa Abu Ali, the experimental Measures of Distance (1998) by celebrated artist Mona Hatoum, Annemarie Jacir’s highly acclaimed latest feature When I Saw You (2012), Elia Suleiman’s debut feature Chronicle of a Disappearance (1996), Cherien Dabis’ heartwarming Amreeka (2009) and Larissa Sansour’s futuristic short Nation Estate (2012) which imagines a Palestinian state in the form of a giant skyscraper.

The festival is organized by the Center for Palestine Studies at Columbia University and includes discussion panels and Skype interviews with filmmakers and artists. The full schedule can be found on the festival website.

Read the full story on the Electronic Intifada.



CPS presents the first annual Palestinian Film Festival in Santiago, Chile
June 23-29, 2014 at Cineteca Nacional de Chile

The Center for Palestine Studies (CPS) at Columbia University presents the first annual Palestinian Film Festival in Santiago, Chile at the Cineteca Nacional (Centro Cultural La Moneda). This weeklong festival, which runs from June 23 to 29, 2014, will feature iconic works from Palestinian cinema, which has emerged as a globally influential artistic force.

CPS, in collaboration with the Columbia Global Centers Latin America (Santiago), the Center for Arab Studies at the University of Chile and the Cineteca Nacional, will present a comprehensive selection of Palestinian cinema. Following in the footsteps of other Palestinian international film festivals in Madrid, London and Boston, the purpose of the inaugural Santiago Festival is to engage Latin American audiences with filmic depictions of Palestinian history and culture.

This year’s Festival is focused on the theme of cinema and exile. The program includes the screening of eight feature films and five short films; twelve of these films will be premiered for the first time in Chile.

The impressive list of films include emblematic works by internationally renowned directors and artists like Michel Khleifi, Elia Suleiman, Hany Abu Assad, Mona Hatoum, Annemarie Jacir and Cherien Dabis, and documentary filmmakers Nasri Hajjaj , Azza El- Hassan and Omar Shargawi, along with emerging young artists the likes of Basma Alsharif , Larissa Sansour, and Mahdi Fleifel.

Omar (2013), nominated for the Oscar for Best Foreign Film after great success at the Cannes Film Festival last year, and at several other international festivals, will be shown on opening night on June 23, 2014. Waleed Zuaiter, the film’s producer and actor who plays Agent Rami will open the Festival with a discussion after the film’s screening.

Moreover, one of the most important Palestinian directors, Michel Khleifi, director of Zindeeq (2009), which premiered at the Dubai International Film Festival, will participate. At its inaugural event in October 2010, the Center hosted Khleifi for the New York premiere of his film.

Cherein Dabis, director and alumna of the Columbia University Film School, will also participate in the Festival for a discussion after the screening of her film Amreeka (2009).

The festival will also feature panel discussions by Professors from the Center for Arab Studies at the University of Chile who will discuss the central theme of the festival: “cinema, exile and occupation.”

For more information and the full program click here: Muestra Cine Palestino.



Annoucing the fourth recipient of the Ibrahim Abu Lughod Award in Palestine Studies, Omar Imseeh Tesdell

The Center for Palestine Studies at Columbia University is pleased to announce the fourth recipient of the Ibrahim Abu Lughod Award in Palestine Studies, Omar Imseeh Tesdell. The award recognizes and seeks to foster innovative and ground-breaking scholarship on issues related to Palestine and Palestinians.

Omar Imseeh Tesdell is Assistant Professor in the Department of Geography at Birzeit University. He will spend Spring 2015 at Columbia working on a book project based on his dissertation, Shadow Spaces: Territory, Sovereignty, and the Question of Palestinian Cultivation. A spatial history of Palestinian environmental and agricultural practice, the book explores the relationship between the work of cultivation and claims to land. Cultivation in the conventional sense is understood to be an abstract concept that allows institutions like the state to deploy technologies of control, whether through law, coercion, or agricultural development. Yet generally overlooked is an understanding of cultivation as the longstanding concrete practice of farmers to uphold collective claims to land. In contrast to a self-evident concept of cultivation, the practice of cultivation thus emerges as a flashpoint to consider the question of territory and sovereignty. As such, the book offers a spatial history of cultivation in Palestine and develops a theoretical understanding of it as constituted by both colonialism and oppositional political community arrayed around it.

Two works emerging from his research are forthcoming in edited volumes, one entitled “Land and the Question of Palestinian Cultivation” in New Directions in Palestinian Studies, and another entitled “On Naming and Being” in Being Palestinian: Personal Reflections on Palestinian Identity in the Diaspora from Edinburgh University Press. Tesdell completed his Ph.D. in the Department of Geography at the University of Minnesota in 2013. His research has been supported by the Arab Council for Social Sciences (ACSS), Social Science Research Council (SSRC), an NEH-funded grant from the Palestinian American Research Center (PARC), and the University of Minnesota.

This award has been made possible by the generosity of Abdel Mohsin Al-Qattan, through the A.M. Qattan Foundation, in honor of his friend, the Palestinian scholar and intellectual, Ibrahim Abu-Lughod (1929-2001). Their close friendship began in the aftermath of the Nakbah of 1948 and evolved into a shared commitment to justice for Palestinians to be realized in part through support for excellence in higher education and scholarship.

Filmmaker Elia Suleiman offers undergraduate workhsop

April 29, 2014 in Knox Hall

CPS was honored to team up with the School of the Arts to host Palestinian filmmaker Elia Suleiman for an undergraduate workshop with Hamid Dabashi on Tuesday.

Suleiman showed several clips from his lesser known films and spurred an engaging and dynamic discussion with the students.

Born in 1960 in Nazareth, Elia Suleiman lived in New York from 1981 to 1993. While in the United States, he has directed his first two short films: Introduction to the End of an Argument and Homage by Assassination, winning numerous awards. In 1994, he settled down in Jerusalem, where the European Commission had entrusted him with the mission of creating a Film and Media Department at Birzeit University. His first feature film, Chronicle of a Disappearance, won the Best First Film Prize at the 1996 Venice Film Festival. In 2002, Divine Intervention won the Jury Prize and the FIPRESCI International Critics Prize of the Cannes Film Festival as well as the Best Foreign Film Prize at the European Awards in Rome. In 2007, he was chosen as one of the 35 directors of "To Each His Own Cinema" a collective film for the Cannes Film Festival 60th anniversary. His last feature film, The Time That Remains, was in the official competition at the Cannes Film Festival in 2009. In 2012, he completed a short film titled Diary of a Beginner, part of a collective feature titled 7 Days in Havana.

The film was in the official selection 'Un Certain Regard' in Cannes Film Festival.










CPS Faculty Professor Rashid Khalidi Honored for Excellence in Publishing

From Columbia College News

The Academic Awards Committee of the Columbia College Student Council has announced the winners of the 2014 Mark Van Doren Award for Teaching and the 2014 Lionel Trilling Book Award.

The Lionel Trilling Book Award, given to a member of Columbia's faculty whose book was published in the previous year, will be presented to Rashid Khalidi, the Edward Said Professor of Modern Arab Studies and Literature in the Department of History, for his book Brokers of Deceit: How the U.S has Undermined Peace in the Middle East (2013).

Read the full story here.

Call for Applications: Palestine & Law Fellowship
2014-2015
Columbia University Inaugural Annual Fellowship in Palestine & Law

The Center for Palestine Studies at Columbia University's Middle East Institute is pleased to announce a new Palestine & Law Fellowship. The Center seeks applicants for a residential Fellowship in "Palestine & Law" for the 2014-2015 academic year. Interested applicants should propose a course of research and scholarship relating to a range of domestic, regional or international legal issues concerning Palestinians and/or Palestine. Topics may include the legal implications of the Nakba; the Israeli occupation of Palestine; the legal status of the Palestinian state; property issues, from possession to dispossession; the legal status of the refugee; employment of legal means to suppress Palestinian activism, in Israel and elsewhere; and regimes of imprisonment, to name only a few illustrative examples. The Fellowship is designed to both deepen the scholarly understanding of the complex ways in which law and legality are implicated in Palestine, and to provide a supportive environment for scholars of Palestine to conduct research. The Fellow will participate in the rich interdisciplinary environment of the Center for Palestine Studies, Columbia Law School, and Columbia University more generally. Applications are welcome from individuals with a diverse range of backgrounds, traditions, and scholarly interests. Applicants should hold a law degree, Ph.D., or similar qualification.

The level of funding is individually determined based on candidates' needs and the Program's ability to meet them. The Fellow will receive a modest living stipend plus benefits, library access, and office space.

Application deadline is February 3, 2014. More details and application information for 2014-2015 are available on the Fellowship page.

Call for Applications: The Ibrahim Abu-Lughod Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Palestine Studies at Columbia University

The Center for Palestine Studies at Columbia University's Middle East Institute is pleased to announce the 2014-2015 Ibrahim Abu-Lughod Award in Palestine Studies.

This post-doctoral fellowship seeks to recognize and foster innovative and ground-breaking scholarship on issues related to Palestine and Palestinians. The award will support a scholar working on a book project in any field of the humanities or social sciences. The Fellow will spend one semester at Columbia University in New York, pursuing her or his research and writing, and participating in the intellectual life of the Center for Palestine Studies. Previous IAL fellows include Lena Meari, who spent Spring 2012 working on her book, Interrogating "Painful" Encounters, an ethnographic, historical, and philosophical study of the encounter between Palestinian political activists and interrogators from the Israeli General Security Service and Leena Dallasheh, our current CPS Fellow, who is focusing her book on the social and political history of Nazareth from 1940 to 1966, tracing how Palestinians who remained in Israel in 1948 negotiated their incorporation in the state, affirming their rights as citizens and their identity as Palestinian.

The international competition is open to all post-doctoral scholars who share the mission of the Center for Palestine Studies to advance the production and circulation of knowledge on Palestinian history, culture, society, and politics through outstanding scholarship. The one-semester fellowship at Columbia carries a stipend of $25,000 and the status of post-doctoral research fellow or visiting scholar, as appropriate.

This award has been made possible by the generosity of Abdel Mohsin Al-Qattan, through the A.M. Qattan Foundation, in honor of his friend, the Palestinian scholar and intellectual, Ibrahim Abu-Lughod (1929-2001). Their close friendship began in the aftermath of the nakbah of 1948 and evolved into a shared commitment to justice for Palestinians to be realized in part through support for excellence in higher education and scholarship. In later years, upon the establishment of the A.M. Qattan Foundation in Palestine, Ibrahim Abu-Lughod helped found the Qattan Centre for Educational Research and Development; one of the Foundation's core programs.

Application deadline is February 15, 2014. More details and application information for 2014-2015 are available on the Fellowship page.


CPS Faculty awarded 2013 MEMO Palestine Book Awards

November 19, 2013--In London last week, the Middle East Monitor (MEMO) Palestine Book Awards granted Rashid Khalidi the 2013 Academic Prize for his recently released, Brokers of Deceit: How the US Undermined Peace in the Middle East.

MEMO awarded the 2013 General Prize to Penny Johnson and Raja Shehadeh for Seeking Palestine: New Palestinian Writing on Exile and Home with contributions by CPS Faculty Lila Abu-Lughod, as well as Rema Hammami and Suad Amiry, who were featured in a Center for Palestine Studies event on Seeking Palestine in March 2013. Raja Shehadeh also delivered this year's Edward W. Said Memorial Lecture.

Congratulations to all the prize winners!

Read the full story here .


Embarrassing, Contrary, Unpleasant:
An Introduction to Judith Butler and Cornel West in Conversation

Professor James Schamus, Columbia University, New York
30 October 2013

Good evening, and thanks Lila. Let me briefly lay out the format for tonight's event, meditate a bit on some of the questions its title might suggest to our speakers, and commence with a first question. Let us begin by acknowledging that this was a very hot ticket - more on that in a second - and that tonight we are in, to borrow a phrase both from Israeli jurisprudence and from Judith Butler's recent work, a lot of absent-presences. So while we will solicit questions to supplement and continue tonight's conversation, we're going to do so virtually, in the hope that those of you not sitting with us in Low Library will feel the connection we here certainly feel with you.

So if you'd like to join the conversation, tweet your question to @CUpalestine using #edwardsaid or post to our Facebook Event page Judith Butler and Cornel West, in Conversation, by the Center for Palestine Studies at Columbia University. Operators are standing by; and in about 45 minutes to an hour or so one of them will discreetly hand me a stack of questions and comments and, if and when the opportunity arises and the conversation finds a lull, I will share them with you. If, however, the conversation feels like it can continue uninterrupted, I'll hold fire, and ask your forgiveness in advance if we entertain few if any questions.

So, some preliminaries to an initial question, prompted by the sub-title of tonight's event: "Palestine and the Public Intellectual: Honoring Edward Said." I'd like briefly to break down some of the constituent parts of that title in preface to the conversation it announces.

First, Honoring Edward Said. This evening takes place as one of a wonderful number of events commemorating Edward Said, and as such it prompts if not begs the question as to the uses and reasons for those commemorations, honorifications, memorializations and celebrations. A couple of weeks ago in Lerner Hall Edward Said was remembered; last week his memorial lecture was delivered; and tonight he is honored. It is appropriate, under such circumstances, to ask whether and how his memory is working, and how it should be working, and for whom it should be working.

One use, of course, arises from the simple conjunction of the name Edward Said with the word Palestine. And here, I feel the need to try to articulate a specific and particular sense of excitement about tonight's conversation. Let's face facts, each of tonight's interlocutors, alone, is, to use the language of celebrity (which raises its own questions but also feels somewhat appropriate tonight), as I said before, a hot ticket. But together, in conversation, present, to each other, Judith Butler and Cornel West make this feel like a moment, an event. And the territory, occupied or otherwise, where they come together is, not just figuratively, Palestine. Tonight it feels as though, unlike perhaps in Edward Said's day, it is not the question of Palestine that is invoked. Rather, it is Palestine that is asking the questions; indeed, Palestine is demanding answers.

Then we have this word "public." What is a public, or, to ask the question another way, what do publics do? (And what is the public doing here tonight?) Unlike proletariats, peoples, communities, and masses, publics exist mainly to...have opinions. Or, perhaps we could say that the "public" in these neo-liberal times serves as a notional value or subject that provides the site for the production, management, circulation, and consumption of the idea or representation of "their" opinions.

For Said, though, the word public always held out the promise of its Enlightenment origins, as the site of public reason, as a place where genuine truths can emerge. That's why, for Said, there is no need for the category of "public" intellectual - for the intellectual is, by his definition, always public, someone who publishes, who comes into being as such by making representations to a public. As Said writes in his wonderful volume Representations of the Intellectual, "There is no such thing as a private intellectual" (12). The intellectual, he says, "is an individual endowed with a faculty for representing, embodying, articulating a message, a view, an attitude, philosophy or opinion to, as well as for, a public" (11).

To, as well as for. The intellectual represents, paradoxically teaching her public, something, in a sense, the public already knows but just doesn't know that it knows - teaching it, in the Saidian version, the unknown truth about what it really is. The Saidian intellectual plays a strange role, one that requires the intellectual to come into being wholly in relation to the public, but to not be the public, or part of the public - to be a representing representation. For Said, the intellectual stands outside, and mainly, again with a nod to his enlightenment heritage, because, as Said writes, the intellectual's speech is always "on behalf of universal principles" (11). That is, the intellectual speaks on behalf of that which is not particular to a public, on behalf of that which cannot be contained within any particular public, but which is somehow essential to the idea of any public insofar as it is a public.

The weight of that universal burden, unmoored from an actually situated public home, makes the intellectual anything other than the usual expert sent out to manage the public through his or her expertise: Said's intellectual paradoxically maintains the social prestige and authority of the intellectual class, but is, as he puts it, "...someone who cannot easily be co-opted by governments or corporations, and whose raison d'etre is to represent all those people and issues that are routinely forgotten or swept under the rug" (11).

And here you see another, paradoxical dialectical leap in Said's thinking - the "public" that the intellectual is to represent to the public is actually the abjected, the forgotten, the oppressed, that is to say outsiders, those who have been relegated to a space outside the public sphere. Paradoxically, in order for the intellectual to play the role of intellectual to the public, she must mimic the abject state of these outsiders, but now from a position of authority if not of power.

Heavy burdens to bear, which is no doubt why Said constantly references the intellectual's, well, crankiness: "Least of all," he writes, "should an intellectual be there to make his/her audiences feel good: the whole point is to be embarrassing, contrary, even unpleasant" (12). It is as if, for Said, the repulsion felt by the proper public for those habitually abjected and excluded must, if only as a moment of negative pleasure, be felt also in the presence of the intellectual. Intellectuals may represent the public, and represent to the public, but the process required in order to make these representations is a fundamentally antagonistic one, making the representations themselves by definition incongruous and dissonant.

I think I speak on behalf of tonight's public, when I say how excited I am to be here to listen in on what I know will be, in honor of Edward Said, a truly embarrassing, contrary and unpleasant conversation. And let's start it by asking, as we have asked about what memorializations do, what publics do, what intellectuals do, and what Palestine does, a simple question you need entertain only by ignoring it: What, exactly, are we doing here tonight?

1 Edward Said, Representations of the Intellectual, New York: Vintage, 1996.

2 For an interesting exploration of these issues, see Danielle Ranciere and Jacques Ranciere, "The Philosopher's Tale: Intellectuals and the Trajectory of Gauchisme," in Jacques Ranciere, The Intellectual and his People, London: Verso, 2012, pp. 74-100.



Two Weeks In Palestine: My First Visit

Michael Taussig, Professor of Anthropology, Columbia University

Thursday June 17, 2013: I pretty well stopped eating in Palestine, not because I wasn't offered food at every turn, but because the intensity ate me alive. It was like I was breathing different air on a different planet where the customary laws of gravity and physics no longer existed. Except it wasn't just the harsh reality of physics-of land occupation and check-points and the permits required for any and everything-but the even harsher reality of things harder for me to pin down. Paranoia? Yes. Anxiety? Yes. But these terms are too obvious yet not quite right, anyway. Above all what threw me was the patience and calm in the midst of choppy seas that in an instant could become a gale inside and outside. Was it that things seemed calm, but shouldn't? Or was it that people spent a lot of time making calm, if you see what I mean, and that this was a sort of national pastime, a gargantuan cultural feat, "making calmness." (Compare with the agitated frenzy I always hear about in Israel) Or is it that no matter how bad a situation, people adapt and life continues in its steady and unsteady rhythms, as it must for the 40 year old man I met in the subterranean market in Hebron selling spices at the same stall all his life and who has never seen the sea, holding my arm, eyes burning, when I tell him I am from Sydney. Although it is quite close, he has never seen the sea because he doesn't have a permit to travel the necessary roads. But the spices need to be gathered from the dusty hillsides, the customers expect it, and he has to live, sea-less as it may be. Twenty meters away Jewish settlers are said to pour garbage and even urine down into the marketplace from their houses which not so long ago were the homes of Palestinians whom, by and large, Israelis insist on calling "arabs" as if the very word PALESTINE does not exist, is not allowed to exist, and yet for all of that non-existence very much exists-as a taboo word threatening thought itself and, indeed, the very writing of this diary. Never have I felt the use of names and words to be so precarious.

Continue reading Taussig's Two Weeks in Palestine here.

Welcome Arcapita Visiting Professor Dr. Ahmad H. Sa'di

We are pleased to welcome Ahmad Sa'di to Columbia University as the Arcapita Visiting Professor for the Fall semester. Ahmad H. Sa'di comes to us from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev where he is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Politics and Government.

Ahmad Sa'di received his Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Manchester in the UK and has published over 38 articles, in English, Arabic, Hebrew, German and Japanese, and most recently co-edited a book of Palestinian memoirs entitled Nakba: Palestine, 1948 and the Claims of Memory. Later this fall Manchester University Press will release his highly anticipated publication Thorough Surveillance: The Genesis of Israeli Policies of Population Management, Surveillance and Political Control towards the Palestinian Minority.

His areas of interest include political sociology, the sociology of developing nations, social movements and political mobilization, and the discourse and methods of political control and surveillance used by Israel to control Palestinian citizens.

Sa'di will be offering two courses this Fall:

THE COLONIAL ENCOUNTER, Middle East W3250, Tuesday & Thursday 11:40 AM - 12:55 PM, Call Number: 64036

This graduate level course explores the relationships between the colonial powers and the territories and peoples they ruled. It is based on the assumption that the colonial experience has had an enduring and multifaceted impact on the social, cultural and political process in both the colonial and the colonized societies. The course is organized around the key themes of the colonial encounter, rather than the history of colonialism in various regions: it considers colonial ideologies of race and sexuality, the formation of identities in the encounter, the dynamics of cultural borrowing, and the emergence of new forms of social struggle and collective memory that this shared but unequal history has generated.

PALESTINIANS-ISRAEL 1948-2013, Middle East G4256, Friday 11 AM - 12:50 PM, Call Number: 63149

The mixed level course examines the lives of the Palestinians who became citizens of Israel, analyzing their status in Israeli society as well as their conceptualization in Israeli literature, social sciences, and textbooks. The course will study the historical, sociological, and anthropological scholarship, as well as the literary representations of the dialectical processes that shaped their situation: the destruction of the Palestinian landscape and the creation of a new Israeli society, landscape and maps.

Annoucing the third recipient of the Ibrahim Abu Lughod Award in Palestine Studies, Mezna Qato

The Center for Palestine Studies at Columbia University is pleased to announce the third recipient of the Ibrahim Abu Lughod Award in Palestine Studies, Mezna Qato. The award recognizes and seeks to foster innovative and ground-breaking scholarship on issues related to Palestine and Palestinians.

Mezna Qato is currently based at St. Antony's College, University of Oxford. She will spend Spring 2014 at Columbia working on a book project based on her dissertation. A social history of the Palestinian educational experience in Jordan, it examines how Hashemite and international humanitarian agencies developed the structure and content of the educational system and institutionalized mechanisms of inspection and surveillance in order to pursue their own political and pedagogical ends. Education in Exile: Palestinians and the Hashemite Regime, 1948-1967 foregrounds a local and gendered history of refugee educational life, and emphasizes the centrality of the refugee experience in the 1950s to Palestinian history and historiography. If historians previously read refugee and displacement camps as sites for the solidification of potent mythic national histories and identities, this book shows how refugee camps were generative spaces for shifting political and social allegiances. Belongings to state, class, nation, camp, village, were all subject to questioning and rebellion. By unearthing the earliest experiences of Palestinian students after the Nakbah, this work offers a context for the emergence of the Palestinian project of liberation and return. At the same time it challenges the notion of the 1948 rupture by pointing to continuities in educational regimes in the transition from Mandate/colonial to monarchical states.

Mezna also authored one of the most comprehensive socio-historical maps of Palestinian refugee and exile communities as part of the Civitas collective research project based at Nuffield College, Oxford, and more recently co-edited a special issue on Palestine of Settler Colonial Studies. She grew up between Tulkarm and Chicago, receiving her undergraduate degree from the University of Chicago.

This award has been made possible by the generosity of Abdel Mohsin Al-Qattan, through the A.M. Qattan Foundation, in honor of his friend, the Palestinian scholar and intellectual, Ibrahim Abu-Lughod (1929-2001). Their close friendship began in the aftermath of the Nakbah of 1948 and evolved into a shared commitment to justice for Palestinians to be realized in part through support for excellence in higher education and scholarship.

Winner of Columbia's Human Right's Essay Contest

Nadya Ali, Barnard Undergraduate Student, Water Apartheid: The Struggle for Water in Palestine.

Abstract: The Middle East and North Africa are facing the most extreme problems of water scarcity worldwide. Issues like poorly developed infrastructure and non-cooperation regarding sharing between nations are amongst the top contributors as to why these countries suffer from water shortage. One of the best examples of these issues lies in Israel and Palestine. Israel, the occupying power, has continued to consume water comparable to that of other developed nations while systematically denying the Palestinian Territories of the water necessary to live. The Gaza strip is facing serious water quality issues, and because of this, serious quantity issues as well. The West Bank suffers mainly from water quantity issues. Though there are organizations and non-state actors that supply humanitarian aid for the Palestinians, there is no sustainable system that exists in the territories for cleaning and distributing water. Also, much needed information to more properly assess the water crisis is not made public due to "national security" conflicts. These constraints only add to the problems facing the region. Without proper assessment of the full extent of the problem, and without a reform in the discriminatory policies and system in place, no steps can be taken at resolving this human rights crisis.

Welcome to CPS Visiting Scholar Noemi Artal

The Center for Palestine Studies welcomes Visiting Scholar Noemi Artal. Dr. Artal is the founder and director of the Resource Center on Palestinian Cinema (cinepalestino.com) and, since 2010, the Madrid/Caracas Palestine Film Festival (muestracinepalestino.com).

At Columbia, she will continue her ongoing research on Palestinian cinema, which involves locating, viewing and cataloging films, now including libraries and film archives in the U.S. In February, 2013, Dr. Artal completed Una cronologia del cine palestino / A chronology of Palestinian cinema (1927-1999), and she also has just completed an additional chronology for the years 2000-2012. Both have been posted on the CPS website and can be found here.

Dr. Artal has been compiling texts written by Palestinian filmmakers for a long-term book project to be published in English and Spanish. Her research aims to develop a framework for the analysis of Palestine through cinema within the disciplines of political economy and visual anthropology. Based on her extensive experience working on Palestinian cinema, she plans to engage in collaborative work with the Center for Palestine Studies in organizing film festivals and workshops with filmmakers, and in evaluating and updating the Columbia film archive.

Contact Noemi Artal here or at handala.noemi@gmail.com.

NEW COURSES

International Law and Its Others: Race, Religion and the Question of Civilization
Darryl Li
Monday 4:20pm-6:10pm, Law L8021, Call Number: 80537

This seminar explores a central concern in the history of international law, namely the management of racial and religious difference, both often coded in terms of "civilization." International law has generally oscillated between two approaches: attempting to manage such differences as tolerable variations on universal themes on the one hand and using such differences to exclude categories of people wholesale from the ambit of law and its protections on the other. We will explore both dynamics by reading some classic debates as well as recent scholarship at the intersection of law and transnational history. In so doing, we will see how dilemmas over the management of difference have played an important role in shaping international law; how groups deemed marginal, backwards, or even inhuman have sought to engage and define international law and the world system; and how such hierarchies and exclusions were transformed after decolonization ushered in a world order based on formally equal sovereign nation-states. This seminar will equip students with conceptual tools for analyzing and connecting seemingly disparate contemporary problems in international, transnational, and comparative law, as well as to train them in independent research methods.

The Law of Occupation
Katherine Franke & Dean Spade
Tuesday 4:20pm-6:10pm, Law L8993, Call Number: 60797

Occupation has been defined as "effective control of a power (be it one or more states or an international organization, such as the United Nations) over a territory to which that power has no sovereign title, without the violation of the sovereign territory." This course will explore the legal, political and moral underpinnings and consequences of occupation. We have witnessed a marked increase in military and other occupation: Iraq and Afghanistan by the U.S., and the West Bank and Gaza by Israel, for instance. The course will examine how international law defines and regulates occupation. What is occupation? On what grounds does modern jurisprudence authorize and constrain occupation? What is the difference between a legal occupation and an illegal occupation? How does occupation, regulated by and through law, differ from colonialism? Readings will focus on several case studies to explore the legal, political and moral implications of occupation, including Puerto Rico, South Africa, Palestine, and Iraq.

Settler Colonialism: Then and Now, A lecture by Mahmood Mamdani

This lecture was delivered on December 6, 2012 at Princeton University for the 10th Annual Edward W. Said '57 Memorial Lecture.

Mahmood Mamdani is an academic, author, and political commentator. In 2008, Mamdani was voted as the 9th "top public intellectual" in the world on the list of Top 100 Public Intellectuals by Prospect Magazine (UK) and Foreign Policy (US). From 1998 to 2002 he served as President of CODESRIA (Council for the Development of Social Research in Africa). He is the author of, among other books, Citizen and Subject: Contemporary Africa and the Legacy of Late Colonialism (1996), When Victims Become Killers: Colonialism, Nativism, and the Genocide in Rwanda (2002), Saviors and Survivors: Darfur, Politics, and the War on Terror (2010), and, most recently, Define and Rule: Native as Political Identity (2012). His works explore the intersection between politics and culture, the history of colonialism since 1452, the history of civil war and genocide in Africa, the Cold War and the War on Terror, and the history and theory of human rights.

He is presently the Herbert Lehman Professor of Government at Columbia University in New York, and also Professor and Director of the Makerere Institute of Social Research at Makerere University, in Kampala, Uganda, and. He grew up in Uganda and acquired his B.A from the University of Pittsburgh, before going on to attain his Masters degree from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy in 1969 and his PhD from Harvard University in 1974.

This event was sponsored by the Edward W. Said '57 Memorial Lecture Fund, the Princeton Committee on Palestine, the Department of English, and the Program in African Studies.

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CROSSING THE DEAD SEA

A speech given by Chinese writer Chengzhi Zhang at the Palestinian refugee camps in Jordan on 12 & 13 September 2012.

Introductory description by Lydia H. Liu, Wun Tsun Tam Professor in the Humanities, Columbia University.

Renowned Muslim Chinese writer Chengzhi Zhang from Beijing recently visited the Palestinian refugee camps in Jordan. He and his team made their first trip to Jordan on 12 -16 September 2012. Their objective was to visit the Palestinian refugee camps in Jerash and Irbid, Jordan.

Zhang raised USD$100,000 among progressive Chinese intellectuals and the Chinese Muslim community in Beijing from the proceeds of a special edition of his book The History of the Soul. He brought the funds to Palestinian refugees camps and Jordanian farmers, including the Gaza refugee camp, the Shahid Azmi Mufti refugee camp, and the Irbid refugee camp. Two hundred and ninety-three (293) refugee families were among the beneficiaries. Zhang also gave to ninety-five (95) families in the Ras Munif village and eighty-two (82) families in the Ain Janna village who provided Palestinian refugees with land and food.

On his blog, Zhang explains why he chose to give aid to the Palestinians:

"The Palestinian issue is the source of global conflict; it is the cancer of our Earth's pathology. Our support for the Palestinian refugees must be the bottom line of global justice."

He delivered the following speech "Crossing the Dead Sea" several times during his visit to Jordan:

Dear Palestinian brothers and sisters,

My loved ones:

I was born in 1948.

I could not have known in the very year I was born how the cords suddenly broke, and the world verged on a collapse. Justice was banished from Palestine. From that year on, the peaceful and glorious homeland of Palestine has been occupied, massacred and ravaged by colonialism. But in 1948, I did not know that I was of the same age as those who, expelled from their homeland and robbed of their lands, were born from their mothers' wombs to suffer on the bitter road of refugees.

What I do remember from my childhood is this: In China, on National Day and New Year's Day each year, we would sound out the pledge: "Give our firm support to the Palestinian people in their struggle to reclaim their homeland." It was always like that, year after year, this pledge, this sound that accompanied my early youth. This sound, as nurturing as mother's milk, has become a part of my education. Even when I was ignorant and unaware, I knew the name Palestine. O Palestine! You made a whole generation of Chinese feel close to you and convinced that you are our kindred.

I have reached the age 64 this year, the same number of years as you have endured, robbed of your homeland for 64 years.

In spite of the occupation that has lasted this long, Satan must not think that his own idea of morality would hold sway. Through these 64 years, I have gradually come to see that to live in the truth, I must stand by those who endure.

Perhaps, 64 is a mystical number. My life is not young anymore, and perhaps at the cusp of its 64th year I am destined to rush towards those enduring in pain and suffering, towards the scene where justice must be done.

This is a mission from Heaven. No one can stop it.

My loved ones, although I do not own wealth, I own a pen.

This pen obeyed what had been predestined. It honored a wish from a Chinese Muslim community to write their story. As my book came to completion, my family and I, along with my close friends, had the niyyah (intention) of using the proceeds from this book to assist our Palestinian kindred. Upon hearing Palestine's name and upon knowing that we were determined to mobilize our support for Palestinian refugees, there came from one corner of China a moving and enthusiastic response. Not just Chinese Muslims, but many distinguished intellectuals regarded this donation drive as fulfilling their natural moral obligation. They took out their hard-earned income, and offered it into my hands as a token of justice.

In Beijing, I met a poor elderly man who depended on social security to live. He did not heed my repeated protests and insisted on taking out 1,500 yuan to participate in our fund raising effort. With one hand clasping the book, and another holding his zakat, he had his photo taken. He said to me, "Take this sum of money with you! Nowadays, whenever I think of the Palestinian refugees, I wake up crying in the middle of the night!" This 90-year-old man has been on the brink of death several times, but I know that he will not shut his eyes until I deliver his gift into your hands.

A Chinese Muslim entrepreneur helped subsidize the printing of the book and refused to accept any payment. He said, "This money is my zakat, my commitment to Allah." I was touched beyond words. For the first time, I understand the meaning of zakat. In our commitment to passing on this heavy zakat yed bi yed (hand-by-hand) until it reaches the hands of the Palestinian people, this book has become a souvenir and a testament of some sort.

Everyone knows that as you pass through the many checkpoints in your land, Satan lays down death, war and other obstacles. Before my departure (from Beijing), I heard a cry from the heavens: "Do you not see the birds flying free in the sky, their wings aflutter, extending and contracting? So fly away! Across the blockade of the Dead Sea!"

Thus I heard clearly, in the vast expanse of the sky, the deafening, unceasing calls from a flock of birds: al-Adāl - justice! al-Salām - peace! The birds arranged themselves into a J-shaped formation, and like a scudding arrow, shot across the desert, across the Dead Sea towards Palestine, towards the refugee camps of those who still endure.

My dear Palestinian brothers and sisters, kindred of the Chinese people:

As I conclude this speech, my mission is complete. Now, please accept this small token with the blessings we have carried here from China. Money belongs to the Creator. It merely passes through our hands into yours. We can only hope that it will not hurt your noble self-esteem by accepting this small aid from us.

No, I don't believe that the fate of Palestine will end in humiliation.

We firmly believe in truth, like those who has faith in His every good name. No matter how many years, so long as people still have faith in justice, all isolating barriers will be torn down, all the war flames of colonialism will be put out, and the souls of all who sacrificed will enjoy overabundant mercy and comfort in the paradise of Heaven.

Then we will return here; we will return to your side; we will return to Beirut and Amman, to Gaza and Jenin, to Deir Yassin, to a resurrected Palestine. When the day comes, we will be shouting - peace belongs to you, Palestine!

We shall bear witness, Palestine - you stand between the past and the future, marking their boundaries. You are a milestone for human dignity. You will live on forever.

(translated by Nicholas YH Wong)

Photos of Zhang's trip to Jordan


亲爱的巴勒斯坦同胞
我的亲人们:

我出生在1948年。

我不知道——就在我出生的那一年,绳索突然断了,世界歪着倒塌,巴勒斯坦失去了正义。就从那一年起,巴勒斯坦和平美好的家园,突然被占领、被屠杀、被殖民主义蹂躏。1948年——我不知道,自己和那些被驱逐出家园、被夺去了土地、在苦难的难民路上呱呱坠地的婴儿们同年。

但是从小我就记得:在中国,在每一个国庆节和每一个元旦,中国都要发出“坚决支持巴勒斯坦人民收复家园的正义斗争”的宣言。它从未改变,年年如此,这个宣言,这个声音,伴随了我的少年时代。这个声音像母亲的乳汁,成了我的教育的一部分。我虽懵懂未开,但记住了巴勒斯坦这个名字。巴勒斯坦!你使整整一代中国人感觉亲近,并且认定了你们是我们的亲戚。

今年我已64岁。恰如你们被剥夺了家园64年。

但是,哪怕占领已经64年,撒旦并不能认为撒旦的世道已经成立。64年的时光,使我渐渐懂得了——要与真理同在,要与忍耐者同在。

64可能是一个奥秘的数字。生命——哪怕它已不年轻,也许它就是应该在第64年的时刻,奔向苦难中的忍耐者,奔向正义的现场。

这是一件天授的使命,谁也不能阻止它。

亲人们,我不是一个富人,我只是一支笔。

这支笔顺从了前定,接受了一个中国的穆斯林共同体的委托,写了一本关于他们的故事。

当这本书最终完成的时刻,我和我的家人以及挚友的心中,产生了用这本书的收益,援助巴勒斯坦亲人的举意。

一旦听到了“巴勒斯坦”这个名字,一旦知道了我们要发动一次对巴勒斯坦难民的援助,在中国的一隅,发生了动人而且热烈的反响。

不仅中国穆斯林,很多优秀的知识分子,都把这一行动视为天赋的道德与义务。他们拿出辛勤劳动的收入,做为一种正义的表达,送到了我的手里。

北京有一个靠社会最低保障生活的贫苦老人。他不听我反复的劝阻,坚决拿出1500元人民币加入行动。他一手抱着书,一手握住天课,照了一张照片。对我说:“这笔钱跟着你走!这些天,只要一想到巴勒斯坦难民,我就半夜里哭了起来!”他已经几次生命垂危,但我知道,不等到我把他的心意送到你们手里,这个90岁的老人不会闭上眼睛。

还有一位穆斯林企业家,他出资帮助印书,却决不接受还款。他说:这些钱是我的天课,是我对安拉的承诺。

我的感动不能以言辞表达。我初次懂得了“天课”一语的含义。

做为一定要把这笔沉重的天课yed bi yed(手递手)、一直放到巴勒斯坦人手掌之中的承诺——这本书,成了一种纪念,也成了一种凭证。

人人都知道,撒旦在通往亲人土地的许多关口,都设置了死亡、战争、和其他障碍。在出发之前,我听见了天空中的一声呼唤:

——难道你没有看见——天空中那些自由的鸟儿,它们噗噗的振翅与敛翼吗?飞过去!越过那封锁的死海!

我清楚地听见,鸟群在整个天空四野,不停地发出震耳的呼唤: al-Adāl——正义!al-Salām——和平!

鸟儿排成一个词首的J字,如同一个疾飞的箭头,飞过沙漠,越过死海,向着巴勒斯坦,向着忍耐者的难民营。

亲爱的巴勒斯坦同胞,中国人的亲人们:

我的话已经讲完,我的任务也已经完成。此刻,请接受这一点点心意,并接受我们从中国送来的祝福。钱属于造物主,它只是经过我们的这只手,到了你们的那只手上。我们只希望:不要因为接受这一点小小的援助,而伤害了你们高贵的自尊心。

巴勒斯坦的命运,不,不会这么可耻地结束。

我们坚信真理——像坚信他的一切美名——不管再经过多少年,只要人还信仰正义,一切隔离的壁垒都将被拆除,一切殖民主义的战火都将熄灭,一切牺牲的灵魂都将在天堂的乐园里,得到无限的慈悯与安慰。

那时,我们将回到这里,回到你们身边。我们将回到贝鲁特和安曼、回到加沙和杰宁、回到黛儿亚辛,回到复活的巴勒斯坦。等那一天到来时,我们将高喊——和平属于你,巴勒斯坦!

我们将作证:巴勒斯坦——你作为区别过去与未来的标志,你作为人类尊严的里程碑,将获得永恒的生存。

2012年9月12-13日

于约旦杰拉什与伊尔比德的巴勒斯坦难民营数次讲演

Call for Applications: The Ibrahim Abu-Lughod Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Palestine Studies at Columbia University

The Center for Palestine Studies at Columbia University's Middle East Institute is pleased to announce the 2013-2014 Ibrahim Abu-Lughod Award in Palestine Studies.

This post-doctoral fellowship seeks to recognize and foster innovative and ground-breaking scholarship on issues related to Palestine and Palestinians. The award will support a scholar working on a book project in any field of the humanities or social sciences. The Fellow will spend one semester at Columbia University in New York, pursuing her or his research and writing, and participating in the intellectual life of the Center for Palestine Studies. Previous IAL fellows include Lena Meari, who spent Spring 2012 working on her book, Interrogating "Painful" Encounters, an ethnographic, historical, and philosophical study of the encounter between Palestinian political activists and interrogators from the Israeli General Security Service and Leena Dallasheh, our current CPS Fellow, who is focusing her book on the social and political history of Nazareth from 1940 to 1966, tracing how Palestinians who remained in Israel in 1948 negotiated their incorporation in the state, affirming their rights as citizens and their identity as Palestinian.

The international competition is open to all post-doctoral scholars who share the mission of the Center for Palestine Studies to advance the production and circulation of knowledge on Palestinian history, culture, society, and politics through outstanding scholarship. The one-semester fellowship at Columbia carries a stipend of $25,000 and the status of post-doctoral research fellow or visiting scholar, as appropriate.

This award has been made possible by the generosity of Abdel Mohsin Al-Qattan, through the A.M. Qattan Foundation, in honor of his friend, the Palestinian scholar and intellectual, Ibrahim Abu-Lughod (1929-2001). Their close friendship began in the aftermath of the nakbah of 1948 and evolved into a shared commitment to justice for Palestinians to be realized in part through support for excellence in higher education and scholarship. In later years, upon the establishment of the A.M. Qattan Foundation in Palestine, Ibrahim Abu-Lughod helped found the Qattan Centre for Educational Research and Development; one of the Foundation's core programs.

Application deadline is February 15, 2013. More details and application information for 2013-2014 are available on the Fellowship page.

2012 MA Theses: Omar, Keilani, and Zbidat

Dina Omar, Debating Ghosts: An Ethnographic Study of the UC Berkeley Divestment Hearings.

Tanya Walid Keilani, Righting Love: Regulation and Response in Palestinian Intimate, Communal, and Familial Life.

Dina Zbeidy, Educating the (non)National Citizen Subject: the Education System in Israel and National Identity Construction.

New Interviews from the Refugee-Youth Oral History Project

The Center for Palestine Studies is pleased to announce the completed translation of additional refugee youth interviews with 1948 Palestine refugees in Lebanon.

In January 2010, a group of youth from Bourj el-Barajneh refugee camp in Lebanon decided to undertake an oral history project with the remaining elders of the camp community, known as the 'generation of Palestine.' The Youth chose to focus their interviews on three specific topics: 1) village customs and traditions; 2) special dishes and accents: 3) village economies and relations with towns. Chairing the meeting were Ms. Kholoud Hussein, a camp resident with a long history of assisting researchers, and Rosemary Sayigh, anthropologist and oral historian.

In September 2012, the team of young oral historians will carry out a third recording project extending their research on change in marriage customs beyond Bourj el Barajneh to three other camps in Lebanon (Ain Helwh, Wavell/Jalil, Baddawi).

Through a workshop facilitated by the library of the American University of Beirut, and led by volunteer Hazem Jamjoum, the team created a website to display their research: Hekayat Jdudna. Financial support for the project - to cover the cost of recorders, typing, printing, transport, coordination, etc. - was provided by a local donor. The Center for Palestine Studies at Columbia supported the translation of the interviews into English. Both Arabic and English versions are displayed on the project website.

Please follow the link to read the interviews and learn more about the refugee-youth oral history project: http://www.columbia.edu/cu/palestine/programs/projects/#oralhistory.


Announcement of the Second Ibrahim Abu Lughod Award in Palestine Studies

The Center for Palestine Studies at Columbia University is pleased to announce the second recipient of Ibrahim Abu Lughod Award in Palestine Studies, Leena Dallasheh. The award recognizes and seeks to foster innovative and ground-breaking scholarship on issues related to Palestine and Palestinians.


Leena Dallasheh recently received her PhD in the joint History and Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies program at New York University. Her research focuses on the social and political history of Nazareth from 1940 to 1966, tracing how Palestinians who remained in Israel in 1948 negotiated their incorporation in the state, affirming their rights as citizens and their identity as Palestinian. Leena wrote and published her MA about al-'Ard movement, a pan-Arab nationalist movement in Israel in the late 1950s-60s. Before coming to NYU, she received a law degree from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

Leena will spend Fall 2012 working on her book manuscript entitled "Contested Citizenship in Nazareth: Palestinians' Transition from the Mandate to Israel." The book will present a social and political micro-history of the Palestinian city of Nazareth from 1940 to 1966. She explores Palestinians' bids for citizenship in both the British colonial state of Mandate Palestine and the Israeli state by tracing local politics and identity formation in this Arab urban center. Utilizing state and institutional archives, juxtaposed with private Palestinian papers and the press, in Arabic, Hebrew and English, Leena explores three aspects of social and political life in Nazareth: the municipality, workers, and water. Through these lenses, she explores the relation between Palestinians and the state, both before and after 1948. Her study demonstrates how Palestinian identity and Israeli citizenship were negotiated in this important Palestinian locality. It also bridges the rupture of 1948 by examining the persistence and development of Palestinian national identifications before and after the Palestinian catastrophe.

This award has been made possible through the generosity of Abdel Mohsin Al-Qattan and the A.M. Qattan Foundation.

CANCELLED: APRIL 11: Like a Straw Bird It Follows Me - Bilingual Poetry Reading & Discussion with Ghassan Zaqtan, Fady Joudah, & Professor Muhsin al-Musawi

It is with great regret and an equal measure of concern that the Center for Palestine Studies (CPS) announces the cancellation of its evening event on 11 April 2012, with Palestinian poet Ghassan Zaqtan and Fady Joudah.

CPS endorses the following statement from PEN, the association of writers:

"We got word through our Translation Committee that Palestinian poet Ghassan Zaqtan, whose collection Like a Straw Bird It Follows Me is being released by Yale University Press this month, is still waiting for a visa to travel to the U.S. for a planned two-week book tour. The tour was to kick off yesterday with an event featuring Zaqtan and Fady Joudah, his translator, at Claremont McKenna College in California, followed by readings at UCLA today and the San Francisco State University Poetry Center tomorrow.

Worried that the United States might been delaying visa processing for political reasons, PEN joined with the ACLU, our partners in challenging a number of post-9/11 instances of ideological exclusion, to send a letter to U.S. State Department Legal Advisor Harold Koh asking for urgent action on Zaqtan's visa application. It is our hope that Zaqtan will receive a visa in time to participate in an April 9 event at the University of Houston and subsequent planned events at SUNY Albany, Columbia, Georgetown, Poets House in New York, and Yale University."

For more information, read PEN's statement.

Launch of the New Centre for Palestine Studies at the London Middle East Institute (SOAS)

On behalf of the faculty collective at the Center for Palestine Studies at Columbia University, we salute our colleagues at the School of Oriental and African Studies and warmly welcome the inauguration of their new Centre for Palestine Studies at the London Middle East Institute. We congratulate CPS at SOAS for their important achievement.

The launch of CPS at SOAS underscores the fact that the study of Palestine has begun to assume its rightful place in the academy. We wish the new Centre future success and look forward to productive collaborations.

On 1 March 2012 (6pm-9pm), the new Centre for Palestine Studies at the London Middle East Institute (SOAS) will launch.

The new Centre will be launched at SOAS with an inaugural event on the discussion of Palestine studies. This initiative brings together the considerable academic expertise on Palestine at SOAS, a body of scholarship with deep roots and a long history. At its inception, the Centre's membership draws on about 35 SOAS academics across a wide range of disciplines, ensuring that SOAS has one of the world's most unique concentrations of academic specialism on Palestine.

Speakers include:

Hassan Hakimian, Director of the London Middle East Institute and Reader in Economics Department, SOAS, will introduce the launch and offer welcomes;

Gilbert Achcar, Professor of Development Studies and International Relations at SOAS, the first Chair of the Centre for Palestine Studies, will present the new centre and outline its perspectives;

Karma Nabulsi, Fellow in Politics at St Edmund Hall, Oxford University and member of the advisory committee of the Centre, will speak on 'Palestine Studies and their Future Internationally';

Ilan Pappe, Professor of History, Director of the European Centre for Palestine Studies, University of Exeter, will focus on 'Palestine Studies in the British Academia: Past, Present and Future'.

For more information, please visit the following link: http://www.lmei.soas.ac.uk/home/index.cfm?navid=6. The CPS SOAS website will be going live soon.

CPS Supports Refugee-Youth Oral History Project in Lebanon

Bourj al-Barajneh camp, Beirut, Lebanon
http://7ekayatjdudna.wordpress.com

Written by Kholood Hussein and Rosemary Sayigh

In January 2010, a group of youth from Bourj al-Barajneh refugee camp in Lebanon met to discuss a cultural project they would soon undertake. Chairing the meeting were Ms. Kholoud Hussein, a camp resident with a long history of assisting researchers, and Rosemary Sayigh, anthropologist and oral historian.

The youth who attended decided to do an oral history recording project with the remaining elders of the camp community known as the ‘generation of Palestine.' They chose three particular topics for their interviews: 1) village customs and traditions; 2) special dishes and accents: 3) village economies and relations with towns.

The members of the first team of interviewers were: Eman Hajj; Naifi Hussein; Samah Hussein; Mustafa Khalil; Mohammad Mustafa; Farah Shehadeh. (see their profiles below). All are studying either at university or a technical training college, and some also work part time. They began with training workshops with the help of Mahmoud Zeidan and Bushra Moghribi, both of whom have had long experience recording the experiences and memories of Palestinians in Lebanon. The team developed questionnaires and were ready to begin their oral history projects.

Kholoud Hussein, who has an exceptional knowledge of the residents of Bourj al-Barajneh due to her prior work with academic researchers, helped the team find individuals from different villages willing to record their memories. She also guided them through their first recording sessions. She took photos of those elders who permitted this, and later presented the speakers with bound copies of their interview, with their personal photos.

Once the recordings were completed the researchers transcribed and typed them. Through a workshop facilitated by the library of the American University of Beirut, and led by volunteer Hazem Jamjoum, the team created a website to display their research: Hekayat Jdudna

Financial support for the project - to cover the cost of recorders, typing, printing, transport, coordination, etc. - was provided by a local donor. The Center for Palestine Studies at Columbia supported the translation of the interviews into English. Both Arabic and English versions are displayed on the project website. If you are interested in helping with translations or getting involved, please contact CPS at palestine@columbia.edu.

Click here to read more on the CPS Project Page

In Colonial Shoes: Notes on the Material Afterlife in Post-Oslo Palestine

Sophia Stamatopoulou-Robbins
PhD Student
Department of Anthropology
Columbia University, New York, NY

A strange and unexpected kind of waste fell across my path as I set out to research what I had neatly packaged for myself as "the politics of waste management in the West Bank." It was late 2009 when an American friend introduced me to it on one of my first days in Jenin. "Oh, you're interested in trash? You'll love this place, it's full of it!" And we were off. What struck me most when we finally made our way through an orgy of fresh fruits and vegetables, sold off stands and carts in Jenin's hisba market, was the scene of what my friend called the toilet bowl graveyard: rows and rows of porcelain bowls, no seats, out on the open concrete. Most were white, a couple pastel blue and pink. Down an alley below a building with a bombed-out second floor we passed a mismatched set of electric hospital beds and lightweight metal room separators. Continue reading starting from page 54.

Staging the Sublimation of Cliche: Elia Suleiman's Silences in The Time That Remains (2009)

Tom Hill
Affiliate of the Committee on Global Thought at Columbia University, where he was Postdoctoral Fellow 2009-11.

An elderly mother and her son sit wordless in a Nazareth living room, facing us. The television screen they are watching, which is never seen, spews the sounds of a raging battle, which neither receives nor seems to require any commentary.

Twice the son glances at his mother, who gazes fixedly at the screen. Twice, he reaches out a hand, which she bats away, without looking up, before he can clasp hers to comfort her, at least, to register that she is not alone. But she is alone, her experience utterly incommunicable, and beyond comfort. The third time it is she who twitches - about to bat away a hand he hasn't yet raised. Continue reading starting from page 77.

Rochelle Davis wins the 2011 Albert Hourani Book Award from the Middle East Studies Association

Rochelle Davis, Assistant Professor of Anthropology in the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies at Georgetown University and CPS Center Affiliate, won the 2011 Albert Hourani Book Award at the MESA Conference.

Professor Davis was awarded for her book, Palestinian Village Histories: Geographies of the Displaced. Throughout modern-day Israel, over four hundred Palestinian villages were depopulated in the 1947-1949 war. With houses mostly destroyed, mosques and churches put to other uses, and cemeteries plowed under, Palestinian communities were left geographically dispossessed. Palestinians have since carried their village names, memories, and possessions with them into the diaspora, transforming their lost past into local histories in the form of "village memorial books". Numbering more than 100 volumes in print, these books recount family histories, cultural traditions, and the details of village life, revealing Palestinian history through the eyes of Palestinians.

Through a close examination of these books and other commemorative activities, Palestinian Village Histories reveals how history is written, recorded, and contested, as well as the roles that Palestinian conceptions of their past play in contemporary life. Moving beyond the grand narratives of 20th century political struggles, this book analyzes individual and collective historical accounts of everyday life in pre-1948 Palestinian villages as composed today from the perspectives of these long-term refugees.

To learn more about her book, please visit the CPS New Books page. Also, to order the book, please click on the following link.

The Second Annual Ibrahim Abu-Lughod Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Palestinian Studies at Columbia University

CALL FOR APPLICATIONS

The Center for Palestine Studies at Columbia University's Middle East Institute is pleased to announce the 2012-2013 Ibrahim Abu-Lughod Award in Palestine Studies. This post-doctoral fellowship seeks to recognize and foster innovative and ground-breaking scholarship on issues related to Palestine and Palestinians. The award will support a scholar working on a book project in any field of the humanities or social sciences. The Fellow will spend one semester at Columbia University in New York, pursuing her or his research and writing, and participating in the intellectual life of the Center for Palestine Studies.

The international competition is open to all post-doctoral scholars who share the mission of the Center for Palestine Studies to advance the production and circulation of knowledge on Palestinian history, culture, society, and politics through outstanding scholarship. The one-semester fellowship at Columbia carries a stipend of $25,000 and the status of post-doctoral research fellow or visiting scholar, as appropriate.

This award has been made possible by the generosity of Abdel Mohsin Al-Qattan, through the A.M. Qattan Foundation, in honor of his friend, the Palestinian scholar and intellectual, Ibrahim Abu-Lughod (1929-2001). Their close friendship began in the aftermath of the nakbah of 1948 and evolved into a shared commitment to justice for Palestinians to be realized in part through support for excellence in higher education and scholarship. In later years, upon the establishment of the A.M. Qattan Foundation in Palestine, Ibrahim Abu-Lughod helped found the Qattan Centre for Educational Research and Development; one of the Foundation's core programs.

Application deadline is February 3, 2012. More details and application information for 2012-2013 are available on the Fellowship page.



Palestine and the Palestinians: Through Literature and Theater, New Course

Nathalie Handal

This course explores contemporary Palestinian culture, history, and society through literature and theater produced by Palestinian writers and playwrights, including those in the West Bank, Israel, other Arab countries, and the West.

The course will examine Palestinianess, looking at the various cultural and socio-political issues prevalent in plays, poetry, non-fiction and fiction. Discussions revolve around styles and aesthetics as well as identity and cultural politics. Students will also read critical and theoretical works in order to better help them understand the works.

This semester students also had the rare opportunity to speak almost every week to a writer or playwright via SKYPE. Students prepared questions in advance for the author-whose work(s) we discussed and read-which usually led to interesting and thought-provoking conversations and debates. They spoke to Palestinians with different aesthetics as well as experiences (exilic, Diasporic etc), namely, a novelist in Abu-Dhabi, a poet in Jerusalem, a author in Pennsylvania, an actor/playwright in New York, a non-fiction writer in Gaza. This 'dialogue series' within the class has exposed the students to a wide-range of voices and offered them a more in-depth understanding of the complexity of being Palestinian.

FORTHCOMING BOOK:

Poet in Andalucia by Nathalie Handal

Federico Garcia Lorca lived in Manhattan from 1929 to 1930, and the poetry he wrote about the city, Poet in New York, was posthumously published in 1940. Eighty years after Lorca's sojourn in America, and myself a poet in New York of Middle Eastern as well as Mediterranean roots, I went to Spain to write Poet in Andalucia. I recreated Lorca's journey in reverse. Andalucia has always been the place where racial, ethnic, and religious forces converge and contend, where Islamic, Judaic and Christian traditions remain a mirror of a past that is terrible and beautiful. Poet in Andalucia is a meditation on the past and the present. It renders in poetry a region that seems to hold the pulse of our earth, and where all of our stories assemble. It is a meditation on what has changed and what insists on remaining the same, on the mysteries that trouble and intrigue us, and on a poet who continues to call us to question what makes us human. Poet in New York is about social injustice and somber love, and the quality of otherness such forces produce. Poet in Andalucia explores the persistent tragedy of otherness but it also acknowledges a refusal to remain in that stark darkness, and it searches for the possibility of human coexistence.

Nathalie Handal Video


How I Spent my Summer Vacation, or Adorno in Ramallah

James Schamus, Professor of Practice, School of the Arts, Columbia University.

A Friday afternoon in the village of Bil'in is quite an experience, especially if, like me, you've spent the previous couple of days hanging out in Tel Aviv talking about movies. Basically, the villagers and a hundred or two additional Israeli supporters and internationals have gathered every Friday for the past six years. They walk down to the edge of the village and into a small valley that has now been fenced in by Israel, which appropriated about 60% of the village's farmland for "security" purposes and then built a city of 20,000 people over the hill. It all usually follows a pattern, but the Israeli army can break up the usual at any time.

First, when the initial group of people get near the fence the army pulls up a tank filled with chemical "sewage" water and sprays anyone within about 150 feet. You smell literally like shit for a few days after it touches you, and you either have to burn your clothes or soak them for many days in salt water. Then, within a minute or two, the army starts lobbing tear gas grenades. If they are feeling particularly annoyed, they just shoot the tear gas canisters directly at the protestors. If they're in a really bad mood, they open up with rubber bullets and chase people up the hill, though this has apparently gotten rarer over the years -- it still happens with some regularity, however. This all goes on for half an hour or more, during which the ambulances drive up and down from the top of the hill a few times to pick up injured people, and then the crowd decides the demonstration is done and goes back to the village to chat and drink tea and check in on who's been hurt. At this point or a bit earlier the village kids sometimes come down and throw rocks over the fence (not encouraged by the organizers, who want the demonstrations to be totally non-violent) and the rubber bullets really start flying and that pretty much ends the afternoon's activities.

I came to Bil'in to watch the students from the Jenin Freedom Theater, who decided to perform an open rehearsal of their version of Beckett's "Waiting for Godot," which they are preparing to open later this summer. They decided to put on Godot after the murder last month of the theater's founder, Juliano Mer Khamis. Juliano was a major inspiration for the non-violent movement - his mother was a Jewish Israeli and his father a Palestinian, and he worked a lot both in Israel and in Palestine. He and Udi Aloni, an Israeli filmmaker and artist, had invited me and the philosopher Slavoj Zizek to come teach at the theater for a few days - it is located in the heart of the Jenin refugee camp, and Udi had set up a film program. After Juliano's murder, Slavoj and I both re-committed to come and teach, but the classes were moved to the French-German Cultural Center in Ramallah, with support from the Ford Foundation, and the kids from Jenin were joined by young filmmakers and students from within both Israel and Palestine.

As you can see in the video, when the Freedom Theater students went down into the valley and started performing, the firing stopped for a couple of minutes, but then the troops decided to start shooting canisters again - the young actor you see who got put into the ambulance fainted from tear gas inhalation, but he recovered after about half an hour. Just five days after this demonstration the military began moving the fence and wall around Bil'in in accord with an Israeli High Court order dating back to 2007, so the village will get the use of some of its land back.

The seminars and talks in Ramallah were extraordinarily engaged and exciting - at least for me. The title the organizers gave the event was "When Hollywood Meets Jenin," which was, I pointed out in my introduction to Slavoj Zizek's public lecture at the Al Kasaba Theater, a meeting that clearly was not happening in Jenin, and probably not in Hollywood either. But it is a meeting that certainly takes place in Zizek's work. The lecture, attended by hundreds, was wildly entertaining, and ended with a lively debate about the institution-building project of the current Palestinian Authority leadership.

For the seminars with the students, Zizek and I traded off sessions. For my three seminars, I chose texts from Sergei Eisenstein, Andre Bazin, and Theodor Adorno - texts that tested the role of film art and the artist during times of struggle. I began by asking the students to complete a phrase pulled (in somewhat mangled form) from Adorno's Aesthetic Theory: "Art can only say what it has to say by..." Everyone shared their answers, which ranged from "being provocative" to "being truthful" to "being critical of itself." I then shared how Adorno finished the sentence: "Art can only say what it has to say by...not saying it." This challenge - If you have something to say, why don't you just say it? Why make art? - was the central theme of my seminars, and the discussions it engendered were inspiring and surprising.

Between seminars, I got the chance to get to know a bit of Ramallah (the scene of a tremendous amount of NGO-funded "urban renewal"), and I visited the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of Jerusalem as well as the city of Hebron, trips that would have been too depressing to recount were it not for the wry humor and hopeful spirits of my hosts, both Israeli and Palestinian.

Read more in Haaretz, http://www.haaretz.com/weekend/magazine/cinema-verite-1.373397.



Remembering Palestinian Refugees

Maryam Zohny, CPS Program Manager & co-Founder/Director of the LEAP Program.

On 1 July 2011, a team of 27 energetic American volunteers arrived in Lebanon and settled in the Shatila and Burj al Barajneh Palestinian refugee camps ready to plunge into the task at hand: to deliver intensive English language instruction to nearly 400 Palestinian refugee-students. English proficiency is critical in order to pass the national Brevet exam, which is administered in English and required for promotion to high school. These volunteers were part of the LEAP summer program for Palestinian refugee-youth in Lebanon, an educational empowerment program that aims to nurture the intellectual and creative growth of refugee-youth and encourage them to become their own agents of change. Founded in January 2010, LEAP is a grassroots, volunteer-run program that operates through small seed grants, individual donations, and fundraising events.

No amount of coaching or prepping could have prepared the volunteers for the tremendous challenges they were about to face: sweltering heat, claustrophobic living conditions, daily power outages, frequent water shortages, and a group of spirited students who-like children everywhere-were ready to test the patience of even the most serene of teachers. Despite these challenges, this wonderful group of volunteers rose to the occasion, succeeding beyond our expectations. Instead of spending their summer relaxing or taking paid summer employment, they lived and worked in the camps for the month of July, cheerfully delivering English lessons and recreational activities from 8:30 in the morning until 5 in the evening. They often worked extended hours preparing for lessons and attending required meetings. LEAP volunteers are primarily college students, but also include some professionals, from business people to journalists and educators. The students this year were from universities such as NYU, Columbia, Penn State, University of Madison-Wisconsin, Michigan State, Tufts, among many others.

In addition to morning and afternoon courses (at an 8:1 teacher-student ratio), the volunteers also offered recreational clubs and activities, including photography, social media, filmmaking, theater, debke, creative writing, and even yoga. How lovely and inspiring it was to see the enthusiasm of these beautiful children as they stretched into various yoga positions, or trailed around their neighborhoods hunting for photographic subjects, or carefully edited movie scripts and poems. Watch a short movie clip made by Shatila students in the film club:

On Fridays, the teachers, staff, and students all took a well-deserved break from the oppressive conditions of the camps and headed out on the road in an armada of rented buses. With the joyful sounds of debke music, clapping, and drumming flooding from bus windows, we drove to an amusement park in Saida, toured the Saida Citadel, and-our most popular destination--swam in the Qasmiyeh River in Tyre (Sur). Middle-schoolers who might have had a hard time concentrating on English vocabulary and verb conjugations proved to be more than adept at splashing, swimming, picnicking, and dancing by the side of the river. Their favorite bit of mischief was tossing unsuspecting teachers into the water!

To cap off an intense month of studying and learning, we organized a closing ceremony and celebration at a school in the Burj al Barajneh camp. Hundreds of children and their families enjoyed an afternoon of refreshments, face-painting, photographic exhibits, music and an impressive performance of student songs, poems, theatrical pieces, and choreographed debke dances. At the closing ceremony, each student and volunteer received a copy of the LEAP summer memory book that included class photos, student writings, and other memorabilia, in addition to a Certificate of Completion.

Over the course of this wonderful month of work, learning, friendship, and cultural exchange, our students had a chance to gain invaluable exposure to native speakers of English. Many of the youngsters made vast improvements in English grammar, writing and pronunciation. Most importantly, they were empowered and encouraged to become their own agents of change.

But our students were not the only learners. The volunteers had a chance to learn about Palestinian history, culture, and language. Americans who were too shy to even say hello in Arabic when they arrived, left Beirut with words and phrases like marhaba, salamu-alaikum, and Ramadan Kareem...slipping from their tongues with fluidity and ease.

Most importantly, the volunteers learned first-hand about the hardships and struggles that Palestinian refugees face, going on 64 years of dispossession, exile, and neglect. They saw the catastrophic housing situation, the lack of basic health, social services and legal rights for Palestinians in Lebanon, the poor educational and employment opportunities, and a deteriorating social climate. Most importantly, they learned that no just solution can be brought about without adhering to the right of return for Palestinian refugees.

Several of our volunteers already have signed up for next summer's program. And so the cycle of planning and improving and, yes, fundraising, begins to prepare for Summer 2012 and other LEAP initiatives!

Announcement of the Ibrahim Abu Lughod Award in Palestine Studies

The Center for Palestine Studies at Columbia University is pleased to announce the first recipient of Ibrahim Abu Lughod Award in Palestine Studies, Lena Meari. The award recognizes and seeks to foster innovative and ground-breaking scholarship on issues related to Palestine and Palestinians.

Lena Meari will spend Spring 2012 working on her book, Interrogating "Painful" Encounters, an ethnographic, historical, and philosophical study of the encounter between Palestinian political activists and interrogators from the Israeli General Security Service. Based on extensive interviews and analysis of texts about the situated practices in the interrogation encounter, Meari focuses on the subjective and political significance of sumud, or steadfastness, for Palestinian activists for whom it marks the possibility of political agency outside the space of hegemonic forms of politics. Meari argues that one can read in accounts of the encounter (which has affected twenty per cent of the Palestinian population) the shifting forms of colonial relations, political community, and power of the last forty years of the Zionist colonization in Palestine. While grounded in the historical-political context of Palestine, the study addresses broader questions about violent encounters in colonial settings, security measures in colonial-liberal states, and the cultural and political significations of the body, the will, torture, and pain.

Lena Meari belongs to a Palestinian refugee family from Al-Birweh village. Born and raised in Haifa, she later worked and lived in Jerusalem and Ramallah. An advanced doctoral candidate in the Department of Cultural Anthropology at the University of California-Davis, she will complete her dissertation this year. Lena earned a BA in Psychology and Interdisciplinary Studies from Haifa University and an MA in Clinical Psychology from Tel Aviv University and worked for several years as a psychologist. She then obtained a second MA in Gender, Law, and Development from the Institute of Women Studies at Birzeit University. Upon graduation she worked at the Institute as a teaching assistant and researcher.

This award has been made possible through the generosity of Abdel Mohsin Al-Qattan and the A.M. Qattan Foundation.

Columbia University Butler Library Dedicates Reading Room in Honor & Memory of Edward W. Said

Columbia University has established the Edward W. Said Reading Room in honor and memory of the late Columbia Professor. The room will be open on Tuesday, March 8, 2011. It will be located in Room 616, on the 6th floor of Butler Library. The reading room was formed after Columbia University Libraries acquired Said's papers and personal library. His papers and some of his books will be housed in the Rare Books and Manuscripts Library, but the majority of his personal collection will be in the reading room.

The creation of the Edward W. Said Reading Room will pay tribute to the scholarly legacy and academic contribution of Professor Edward Said to Columbia University, where he taught for forty years (1963-2003). 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 was the author of more than 20 books, including his 1999 autobiography, Out of Place, which won the New Yorker Book Award for nonfiction. His writings have been translated into 26 languages, including his most influential book, Orientalism (1978), a retrospective examination of the way the West perceived the East. Edward Said's legacy continues to draw prominent scholars of Palestine to the university. The Center for Palestine Studies at Columbia University, launched in October 2010, honors the work of the late Edward Said. Moreover, the University hosts the prestigious annual Edward Said lectures, which bring distinguished international figures to speak on pertinent timely world issues.

"The papers and library of Edward Said will represent a gold mine of material for scholars and students throughout the world who recognize Edward's unique importance to literary studies during the second half of the 20th century, his role as social and political critic and commentator who defended the principles of justice, and his exploration of the world of music for personal pleasure, for scholarly analysis, and as a mechanism for bridging a divided world through the musical collaboration between young Palestinians and Israeli musicians with exceptional talent," said Jonathan Cole, Columbia University's John Mitchell Mason Professor of the University and Provost and Dean of Faculties from 1989-2003. "Columbia was fortunate to have Edward Said as one of its most distinguished faculty members for several generations; it is only fitting that his papers should be housed here."

"Edward Said was quite possibly the most influential literary critic since T. S. Eliot and F. R. Leavis in the English speaking world and no one has ever approximated his global reach at anytime. But he was much more than that. He was an indispensable voice for democratic values and for justice in a very troubled time in the world," said Akeel Bilgrami, Johnsonian Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Heyman Center for the Humanities at Columbia University. "His ideas are more relevant than ever today and will remain so for decades. Scholars, activists, and researchers of every stripe from around the world will come to Columbia to consult this collection. For Columbia to have obtained his literary estate is a triumph of great significance," continued Bilgrami.

Born in Jerusalem in 1935, Said was one of the most creative and important literary critics in post-war America. Said earned a B.A. from Princeton University and an M.A. and a Ph.D. from Harvard University, where he won the Bowdoin Prize. He joined the faculty of Columbia University in 1963, where he attained the rank of University Professor, Columbia's most prestigious academic position. Professor Said also taught at Harvard, Johns Hopkins, and Yale universities. He was fluent in Arabic, English and French. In 1999, Said served as president of the Modern Language Association.

Said was awarded numerous honorary doctorates from universities around the world and twice received Columbia's Trilling Award and the Wellek Prize of the American Comparative Literature Association. He was also a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Royal Society of Literature, and the American Philosophical Society.

The Rare Book and Manuscript Library owns over 500,000 rare books in some 20 book collections and almost 28 million manuscripts in nearly 3,000 separate manuscript collections. It is particularly strong in English and American literature and history, classical authors, children's literature, education, mathematics and astronomy, economics and banking, photography, the history of printing, New York City politics, librarianship, and the performing arts. Individual collections are as eclectic as they are extensive.

Columbia University Libraries/Information Services is one of the top five academic research library systems in North America. The collections include over 10 million volumes, over 100,000 journals and serials, as well as extensive electronic resources, manuscripts, rare books, microforms, maps, graphic and audio-visual materials. The services and collections are organized into 22 libraries and various academic technology centers. The Libraries employs more than 550 professional and support staff. The website of the Libraries at www.columbia.edu/cu/lweb is the gateway to its services and resources.

More information: Columbia University Libraries Acquires Papers and Library of Edward Said

Columbia University Offers New Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Palestinian Studies

The Center for Palestine Studies at Columbia University's Middle East Institute is pleased to announce the 2011-2012 Ibrahim Abu-Lughod Award in Palestine Studies. This fellowship seeks to recognize and foster innovative scholarship on issues related to Palestine and Palestinians. The award will support a scholar working on a book project in any field of the humanities or social sciences.

The international competition is open to all post-doctoral scholars who share the mission of the Center for Palestine Studies to advance the production and circulation of knowledge on Palestinian history, culture, society, and politics through outstanding scholarship. The one-semester fellowship at Columbia carries a stipend of $25,000 and the status of post-doctoral research fellow or visiting scholar, as appropriate.

This award has been made possible through the generosity of Abdel Mohsin Al-Qattan in honor of his friend, the Palestinian scholar and intellectual, Ibrahim Abu-Lughod (1929-2001). Their close friendship began in the aftermath of the nakbah of 1948 and evolved into a shared commitment to justice for Palestinians to be realized in part through support for excellence in higher education and scholarship. In later years, upon the establishment of the A.M. Qattan Foundation in Palestine, Ibrahim Abu-Lughod helped found the Qattan Centre for Educational Research and Development, one of the Foundation's core programs.

Application deadline is February 15, 2011. More details and application information for 2011-2012 are available on the Fellowship page.

منحة إبراهيم أبو لغد لدراسات ما بعد الدكتوراة
منحة جديدة في الدراسات الفلسطينية في جامعة كولومبيا

يسر مركز دراسات فلسطين في معهد الشرق الأوسط في جامعة كولومبيا الإعلان عن منحة إبراهيم أبو لغد للعام 2011 - 2012 في الدراسات الفلسطينية. هذه المنحة مخصصة لمرحلة ما بعد الدكتوراه، وتهدف إلى تشجيع الأبحاث الرائدة والمبتكرة في المجالات المتعلقة بفلسطين والشعب الفلسطيني. وستوفر المنحة الدعم لباحث(ة) يعمل/تعمل على مشروع كتاب في أي مجال من مجالات العلوم الإنسانية أو الاجتماعية. وسيقضي/ستقضي الزميل(ة) فصلاً دراسياً واحداً في جامعة كولومبيا في نيويورك، ليقوم بالبحث والكتابة والمشاركة الفعالة في الحياة الثقافية لمركز دراسات فلسطين.

أصبحت هذه المنحة ممكنة بفضل تبرع كريم من عبد المحسن القطَّان تكريماً لصديقه الباحث والمفكر الفلسطيني الراحل إبراهيم أبو لغد (1929 - 2001). وكانت صداقتهما الوطيدة بدأت بعد النكبة مباشرة، وتطورت إلى التزام مشترك بالسعي نحو تحقيق العدالة للفلسطينين، من خلال دعم التميز في مجال البحث العلمي والدراسات العليا. في السنوات اللاحقة، وبعد إنشاء مؤسسة عبد المحسن القطَّان في فلسطين، ساهم إبراهيم أبو لغد في إنشاء مركز القطان للبحث والتطوير التربوي كأحد البرامج الرئيسية في المؤسسة.

وتفتح المنحة المجال للمنافسة على مستوى العالم بين جميع الباحثين والباحثات لمرحلة ما بعد الدكتوراه، الذين يشاركون مركز الدراسات الفلسطينية في رسالته للمضي قدماً في إنتاج المعرفة عن التاريخ والثقافة والمجتمع والسياسة الفلسطينية وتعميمها، من خلال البحث العلمي المتميز. ستعطى الأفضلية للمتقدمين من حقول معرفية تعاني شحاً في المجال البحثي، وأولئك الذين يتوقع أن يحققوا الاستفادة الكبرى من الموارد الأكاديمية التي توفرها جامعة كولومبيا.

مدة منحة الزمالة فصل دراسي واحد، تشمل راتباً قدره 25,000 دولار أمريكي، ونيل مرتبة الزمالة البحثية أو الزيارة البحثية في جامعة كولومبيا.

آخر موعد لتلقي الطلبات هو 15 شباط 2011. لمزيد من التفاصيل والمعلومات عن الطلبات للعام 2011 - 2012، يمكنكم الاطلاع على الموقع الإلكتروني لمركز الدراسات الفلسطينية التالي:
http://www.columbia.edu/cu/palestine/about/fellowships.html

One Archive - One Narrative: An Uncompromised History of Palestine

Curated by Dan Walsh
PREMIERE CPS ONLINE EXHIBIT: "One Archive - One Narrative"
Please allow a few moments for slideshow to begin.

The story of Palestine through posters is vivid, honest, and comprehensive. This new exhibit contains a selection of 100 from the thousands of Palestine posters that have been published over the past century. While early posters promoted a utopian Zionist-colonial aesthetic, contemporary posters are primarily inspired by solidarity with Palestinian nationalism. Aided by the Internet and the emergence of the digital poster, the genre is expanding at an unprecedented rate.

In terms of size, range, and impact, the Palestine poster genre surpasses all other major 20th century political poster genres, such as those of the Spanish Civil War, the Soviet Union, and revolutionary Cuba.

This is the first in a series of online exhibitions the Center for Palestine Studies will launch in partnership with Center Affiliate Dan Walsh who has also donated a representative set of Palestinian posters to the Columbia Library.

The Palestine Poster Project Archives currently features almost 4,000 posters searchable according to artists' names, date of publication, source, iconography, theme, exhibition record, and other variables. The PPPA is part of the Master's thesis project of Dan Walsh at the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies at Georgetown University.

Dan Walsh will also be at Columbia University to discuss his research on the Palestine Poster Project Archives on Monday, 29 November 2010. To attend and learn more about the event and Dan Walsh's work, please check the Center's list of Upcoming Events

Columbia-Birzeit-Sorbonne Partner for Archaeological & Ethnographic Research
Professor Brian Boyd

Brian Boyd of the Center for Archaeology and the Center for Palestine Studies at Columbia will travel to Palestine this month to set up a new field project in partnership with colleagues from Birzeit University and Paris Sorbonne University. The interdisciplinary project will focus on the Wadi en-Natuf (Western Judea), close to the village of Shuqba. This area was previously investigated in 1928 by the British archaeologist Dorothy Garrod (first female professor of archaeology at the University of Cambridge, U.K.).

Boyd and his colleagues will be carrying out archaeological survey & excavation, ethnographic fieldwork (local community involvement, schools, oral histories) and an environmental/ecological survey. Since the Wadi en-Natuf is also being subjected to Israeli construction work, i.e. the "security fence," the need to carry out this research has an element of urgency. If funding permits, the plan is to involve anthropology/archaeology students from Columbia at a later stage. In the meantime, the team will work with locals and Birzeit students.

In Palestine, Occupational Hazards
The Chronicle of Higher Education
Amy Kaplan
Professor of English, University of Pennsylvania

Visiting Professorship for Dr. Salim Tamari, Birzeit University

The Center for Palestine Studies is pleased to welcome Dr. Salim Tamari as a visiting professor next semester.

Professor Tamari is the Director of the Institute of Jerusalem Studies and Professor of Sociology at Birzeit University in Ramallah. Dr. Tamari, who received his PhD in sociology from Manchester University, is one of Palestine's most distinguished scholars. His research draws heavily on archival materials and personal diaries to examine the social and political forces that shaped and re-shaped Palestine in the 20th century. His books include Jerusalem 1948: The Arab Neighborhoods and Their Fate in the War, Palestinian Refugee Negotiations: From Madrid to Oslo II, and most recently, Mountain against the Sea: Essays on Palestinian Society and Culture, published in 2008 by the University of California Press. Dr. Tamari served on the refugee committee in the multilateral peace talks that followed the 1991 Madrid Peace Conference.

In Spring 2011, Dr. Tamari will be the Arcapita Visiting Professor at the Middle East Institute. The details of his course offerings and speaking events will be announced in the near future.

New Course Offering: The Anthropology of Palestine

In spring semester 2011, Adjunct Associate Professor Rhoda Kanaaneh will offer a new undergraduate course in the Department of Anthropology:

ANTH V3887y: The Anthropology of Palestine
This course examines the relationship between different forms of knowledge about Palestinians and the political and social history of the region. It explores the complex interplay of state, ethnicity, gender, sexuality and class at both local and global levels in constructing what Palestine is and who Palestinians are. The course takes up diverse areas, from graphic novels to archaeological sites, from news reporting to hiking trails, to study how Palestine is created and recreated. Students will gain a familiarity with anthropological concepts and methodological approaches to Palestine. They will become familiar with aspects of the social organization, historical developments and political events that have shaped the region over the last century. The course is also intended to develop students' skills in written and oral communication, analysis, ethnographic observation, and critical thinking.

Launch of the Center for Palestine Studies

The Center for Palestine Studies, the first center devoted to the study of Palestine and Palestinians at an academic institution in the United States, was founded in January 2010. It will officially launch its first year of public programming with a screening of Palestinian director Michel Khleifi's feature film Zindeeq on October 7, 2010. For more information, check the Center's list of Upcoming Events.