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Palestinian historians/historians of Palestine: writing under the Mandate and beyond

June 29, 2018
Department of History, King's College London

Strand Campus
London WC2R 2LS
United Kingdom

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The works of historians such as Abdul Latif Tibawi (1910-1981), Arif al-Arif (1892-1973) and Izzat Darwaza (1888-1984) were ground-breaking in their time and still contain significant insights for scholars today. Tibawi’s own impacts on thinking around European and American imperialisms, and his critiques of Western scholarship on Islam and the Middle East, are only two cases in point. And yet many of this generation of Palestinian historians are little-studied, especially in European languages. Almost all of Tibawi’s books, for instance, are now out of print, and his thought on orientalism and its impacts on Western scholarship is a brief mention or a footnote in commentaries on the work of Edward Said.

The biographies and works of many of these scholars share common elements: origins in the final decades of Ottoman Greater Syria; adherence to forms of Arab and Palestinian nationalism; employment within the British Mandate administration; and works which span disciplines and periods of history, from the modern history of Palestine and Greater Syria and the impacts on them of international imperialism, to the Qur’an, Islamic theology, ethnography and memoir. As such, their lives and works provoke a wide range of questions in areas such as intellectual production, colonialism, the relationship between faith, activism, and scholarship, and the role of biography in understanding historical writing.

This colloquium is intended to bring together scholars interested in twentieth century Palestinian intellectual history and historiography broadly, and the lives and works of scholars such as Tibawi, al-Arif, Darwaza and Stephan, from any and all angles.

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May 31, 2018, 4:00pm BST

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