Behind the Big Blue Gate: The Kenyon Institute, a British Eccentricity in Shaykh Jarrah
Kenyon Institute
British School of Archaeology in Jerusalem
British Mandate
British academia in Palestine
Shaykh Jarrah
East Jerusalem

The Kenyon Institute based in Shaykh Jarrah has a long history. Established during the British occupation of Jerusalem in 1919, it was an exemplar of the marriage of academia and empire. In its early days, as the British School of Archaeology in Jerusalem, it was biblical, British, and very imperial, but this outlook and reputation changed over time. This essay by a former director (January 2012–December 2019) provides a brief history of the institute, and discusses the recent changes in its character and relationship with the local community. The author also reflects on some personal experiences and thoughts about her time living and working in East Jerusalem.

Author biography: 

Mandy Turner was the director of the Kenyon Institute from 2012 to 2019. She is currently professor of conflict, peace and humanitarian affairs at the University of Manchester, UK, and deputy director of the Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute. The edited collection From the River to the Sea: Palestine and Israel in the Shadow of “Peace” (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2019) is her most recent publication. She thanks her personal and professional friends in al-Quds, and the students and scholars that visited the Institute, for making her time there special.