“A World of Tomorrow”: Diaspora Intellectuals and Liberal Thought in the 1950s
Keywords: 
Palestinians
intellectuals
1950s
decolonization
conservativism
liberalism
diaspora
Jabra Ibrahim Jabra
Abstract: 

This article contributes to Palestinian intellectual history by discussing the lives and writings of three diaspora intellectuals during the transitional period of the 1950s: Jabra Ibrahim Jabra, Abdul-Latif Tibawi, and Nicola Ziadeh. I argue that they fused a conservative acceptance of state authority and avoidance of radical politics with a liberal understanding of national-ism and scholarship, including freedom, secularism, and objectivity. Without a Palestinian nation-state, their participation in the imagined futures of Pan-Arabism and decolonization meant avoiding radical leftist political movements. Instead, they advanced literature and history, surviv-ing in the diaspora as liberals during Pan-Arabism’s transition from a rev-olutionary goal to a state ideology.

Author biography: 

Hilary Falb Kalisman is assistant professor of history and Endowed Professor of Israel/Palestine Studies in the Program in Jewish Studies at the University of Colorado Boulder. In 2019–21, she was first an American Council of Learned Societies Fellow and then a National Academy of Education/Spencer Postdoctoral Fellow.

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