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Archives Lost and Found: Encounters with Palestinian History


This talk will consider the complicated condition of archives of Palestinian history. Given the nature of Palestinian experience in both the 21st and 20th centuries, as well as the continued absence of an independent Palestinian state, it is no surprise that such archives are scattered, incomplete, and have sometimes been destroyed. Despite these conditions, a rich documentary record of Palestinian experience remains, in part because of the imperative for documentary retention felt by many Palestinians.

This talk will explore the archival experience - as both a site of research and a feature of Palestinian life - amidst these countervailing pressures and outcomes.

Ilana Feldman is a CPS Affiliate and Assistant Professor of Anthropology and International Affairs at George Washington University. She is the author of Governing Gaza: Bureaucracy, Authority, and the Work of Rule, 1917-67(Duke University Press, 2008) and In the Name of Humanity: The Government of Threat and Care (Duke University, 2010; co-edited with Miriam Ticktin).

Her current research traces the Palestinian experience in humanitarianism in the years since 1948, exploring both how this aid apparatus has shaped Palestinian social and political life and how the Palestinian experience has influenced the broader post-war humanitarian regime.


28 February 2011, 12:30 - 2:00 PM
Knox Hall, Room 207