New Directions in Palestinian Studies aims to shape scholarly works in this field through annual workshops, an endowed post-doctoral fellowship, and a book series with the University of California Press. The thematically organized workshops bring together emerging and established scholars to take stock of research trends, identify promising new questions and sources, and encourage networking across academic and research institutions.
Palestinian studies has long been shaped by a hot and ongoing conflict and by the special place of the “Holy Land” in the global imaginary. This has resulted in a hyper focus on some areas of research, such as politics and identity; and a general neglect of others, such as political economy and social history. The theme of political economy, broadly construed to include a range of approaches from social history to discursive constructions of “economy,” has been chosen as a focus for the first symposium, because it constitutes an enduring perspective that has recently gained significant traction. Sa’ed Atshan is the coordinator for the 2014 symposium, Molly Ratner is the research assistant, and Barbara Oberkoetter is the program manager.
The 2014 symposium is organized and largely funded by Middle East Studies at Brown University. The senior scholars in the program have kindly agreed to pay their own expenses, thus freeing resources for younger scholars. The following institutions also contributed, in a variety of ways, to the realization of this gathering: The Watson Institute, Brown University; the Center for Palestine Studies, Columbia University; the Hagop Kevorkian Center for Near Eastern Studies, New York University; Birzeit University; the Institute for Palestine Studies; Muwatin: Palestinian Institute for the Study of Democracy; Masarat: the Palestinian Center for Policy Research and Strategic Studies; and Mada al-Carmel: The Arab Institute for Applied