Palestinian Studies

2017 Workshop

Areej Sabbagh-Khoury

Postdoctoral Research Associate in Palestine and Palestinian Studies, Brown University

Memory, Settler Colonial Archive and the Representation of Palestinian Villages

Studies of representation and collective memory in Israel claim that the memory of Palestinian villages has been eliminated or erased from the Jewish-Israeli public sphere. Through the examination of the settler colonial local archives and memory of Kibbutzim of Ha-Shomer Ha-Tzair, a leftist Zionist movement, I would like to offer three arguments: The first, “erasure” does not suffice to conceptualize relations between the Israeli settler society and its memory of the Palestinian past. There was no concealment or eradication of existence of the Palestinian villages in the kibbutzim. On the contrary, the villages and their inhabitants are a fundamental part of their representation of the past. Second, this site of the memory of the colonizer opens up an opportunity to redeem part of the unknown history of Palestinian villages and their inhabitants, especially in the frontier, a sphere that is under-archived. Third and last, the local settler colonial archives, in contrast to the national settler archives, constitute a vital and an important source, in addition to other Palestinian sources, of writing the social history of the displaced Palestinian villages.  

Areej Sabbagh-Khoury is the Inaugural Postdoctoral Research Associate in Palestine and Palestinian Studies at Brown University 2016-2017. She is also an associate researcher at Mada al-Carmel – The Arab Center for Applied Social Research. Her current book project, now under contract with Stanford University Press, examines relations between leftist Zionists kibbutzim and Palestinian villagers in Northern Palestine within a settler colonial framework.

Sabbagh-Khoury completed her PhD in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Tel Aviv University. She contributed to several book chapters and articles on citizenship, memory, gender and settler colonialism, among them “Palestinian Predicaments: Jewish Immigration and Refugees Repatriation.” She also co-edited two volumes of The Palestinians in Israel: A Guide to History, Politics, and Society: the first volume was published in 2011 and the second in December 2015 (both volumes were published in English, Hebrew and Arabic). She has received several awards and grants for her research, among them the PARC fellowship; the Fulbright Postdoctoral Scholar Award year 2015-2016; the 2015 Ibrahim Abu-Lughod Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Columbia University.