Current Institutional Affiliation
Associate Professor, History and Middle Eastern Studies, California State University / Humboldt State University

Award Information

International Dissertation Research Fellowship 2008
Institutional Affiliation (at time of award):
History, New York University (NYU)
Nazarenes in the Tide of Turbulent Citizenships: Nazareth from 1940-1966

The dissertation research project for which I am seeking an International Dissertation Research 'fellowship is a social and political history of Nazareth from 1940 to 1966. By tracing local politics and identity formation in this Arab urban center, I explore the complicated and understudied ways that Palestinians made bids for citizenship in both the British colonial state and the Israeli state. The period this study considers corresponds to the appearance of a broad range of social and political shifts in British policy in Palestine as a result of World War II until the military administration imposed by Israel on Palestinian citizens in 1948 was formally terminated. Bridging the rupture of 1948, my research will contribute a rethinking of Palestinian history that attends to Palestinian experience in both mandatory Palestine and Israel. The critical study of local politics and identity formation and their continuities and ruptures before and after 1948 disrupts the prevailing but oversimplified dichotomy between collaboration and resistance in understanding Palestinian history. My focus on Nazareth facilitates the exploration of how the social and political life of a prominent pre-1948 urban center sustained, shifted and adapted as Palestinian Arabs became a minority in a self-defined Jewish state. My research focuses on two aspects of social, political and economic Nazarene life. First, I will explore how the municipality of Nazareth, as an agent, utilized specific language and practices to engage with both the state and its Palestinian population in shaping identity and citizenship, and trace how bids for citizenship changed from British to Israeli rule. Second, since Nazareth became a primary locality for internal refugees after 1948, I explore the understudied roles that class and status played within the daily-life of the Palestinian community.