Researching Palestine at Birzeit: Prospects and Limits
Researching Palestine

This book collects contributions from seven doctoral candidates at Birzeit University, focusing on different aspects of Palestine, particularly that part occupied in 1967. Palestine as history, geography, demography, and culture presents many challenges and numerous research issues that require originality, ingenuity, and imagination in thinking, methodology, theory, and narrative. The authors demonstrate originality and imagination in methodology, theory, and narrative while taking up key themes of resistance, identity, and literature. Although the papers do not ignore the general features of the Palestinian question, this review stresses the need to guard against reducing Palestine to a portion of its geography, and its population to a part of its own original citizens. The book represents a small but important step in meeting this challenge – of particular significance to Palestinian universities and social scientists – of producing knowledge that informs and concerns all the components of the Palestinian people in their diverse socio-economic, political, and cultural environments and combating setter colonialism and apartheid.

Author biography: 

Jamil Hilal is a Palestinian sociologist and author of more than a dozen Arabic and English publications on Palestinian society (translated into Spanish, Italian and other languages). He has taught sociology in British universities and Dar al Salam University and has been a research fellow at Oxford University and at a number of Palestinian research and academic institutions, including Birzeit University. He is author of al-Tabaqa al-wusta al-Filastiniyya [The Palestinian middle class] (Muwatin Institute for Democracy and Human Rights and Institute for Palestine Studies, 2006) and al-Nidham al-siyyasi al-Filastini ba‘d Oslo [The Palestinian political system after Oslo] (Institute for Palestine Studies, 2006), and editor of Where Now for Palestine? The Demise of the Two State Solution (Zed Books, 2006).