A Tribute Long Overdue: Rosemary Sayigh and Palestinian Studies

Rosemary Sayigh—writer, activist, mentor, and ethical compass—has arguably made a greater impact on Palestinian studies than most scholars over the past generation. Palestinian refugees in Lebanon; women under occupation; oral history of the Nakba; gender and politics; memory and identity; culture and resistance; the political responsibility of the researcher—these are but some of the lines of inquiry she has pioneered. Starting with her classic book, The Palestinians: From Peasants to Revolutionaries; A People’s History, published thirty years ago, she has become the unofficial mentor of large numbers of PhD students specializing in the above fields. “Unofficial” because, although she has been an indispensable resource for emerging scholars, she remains an outsider to institutions of higher education. She has never held a permanent academic position and was largely shunned by universities and research centers in Lebanon, the country where she has lived for more than fifty years. This special issue of the Journal of Palestine Studies (JPS) in honor of Rosemary Sayigh is richly deserved and long overdue.