Palestinian Identity and Culture
Identity: a construct or an embodiment of our innate human traits? From the day we are born into the world, we are labeled and defined by the people around us and by ourselves. This theme will be the topic of this course; how identity is formulated and reinforced, both by the individual (as a social subject) and the society.
In this course, you will be introduced to the social, political, and historical events which have shaped the Palestinian identity today in the past 100 years. We will move chronologically through dwelling on major historical moments in the history of the Palestinian people, starting with the downfall of the Ottoman Empire to the Nakba, Naksa, the first Intifada …
Settler Colonialism in Comparative Perspective
When Patrick Wolfe suggested fifteen years ago to consider settler colonialism as a structure (rather than as an event), he launched a new field of historical sociology now known as “settler colonialism”. This research enterprise mixes history with sociology to understand how Europeans’ settling in “new lands”, often imagined or represented as terrae nullius, worked to marginalize, “other”, erase, and at times exterminate various local populations. Settler colonial studies underline the contemporary impacts of such multiple forms of encounters, and cases of settler colonialisms, past and present, in the USA, Algeria, Israel/Palestine, Ireland, or Australia function as an important source of critique for multiculturalism and democratic theories. The strength of the settler colonialism approach (understanding the current legacies) can also be a weakness, with the risk of offering an a-historical account of the different routes and moments that settler colonial projects have taken and contribute to erase in its turn other theories (e.g. Indigenous studies), (native) authors, and political processes (internal democratic life).
While mostly focusing on the Palestinian case, the course will offer an introduction to some of the key debates and controversies around settler colonialism (definitions; relevance of economic processes; the interplay of religion and colonial imaginary and of race, sexuality, and law; etc.) and invite students to confront earlier interpretations of colonialism with capitalism and imperialism.