Current Institutional Affiliation
Assistant Professor, Department of Social and Behavioral Science, Birzeit University

Award Information

International Dissertation Research Fellowship 2009
Institutional Affiliation (at time of award):
Anthropology, Rice University
Locating Non-Violence: An Ethnographic Research of the Contemporary Palestinian Political Culture

I propose to conduct an ethnographic study of the proliferation of the discourse of non-violence in Palestinian political culture and practices. Violence is an everyday reality for the people living in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT), and a defining feature of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Especially as it has been represented in media and scholars of the Middle East. There is, however, a significant and long-standing discourse and practice of non-violence in the OPT. My study aims to locate non-violence discourse and practices within the Palestinian political culture by addressing the following questions: What are the cultural particularities and the ethical, political, and theoretical foundations for non-violence in Palestine? What is the role played by global connections and the influence of other non-violent political traditions in shaping the Palestinian national imagination and political culture? The ethnographic investigation of non-violence discourse and practice in Palestine will offer the possibility of identifying, analyzing, and theorizing the social and cultural transformations in the OPT. Meanwhile, it will clarify the relations between these transformations and Palestinian political narratives and make visible the dynamic interactions that shape and enable them. I will investigate non-violence as a discourse and cultural practice by conducting field research in the West Bank, primarily in the towns of Bethlehem and Ramallah.