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Title: Historicity, repatriation and the intellectual in Palestinian national discourse after Oslo
Author: Hill, T. J. W.
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2008
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This dissertation sets out to analyze the role of historical understanding in the Palestinian national discourse on repatriation – the unifying national goal since the nakba (catastrophe) of depatriation in 1948. Broadly, it explores the persistent presence of history in Palestinian discourse, surmounting constant pressures to marginalize it. It argues that Palestinian understandings of history are particularly usefully traced through representations of the role and social function of the intellectual, as figure and notion. It examines how figures of the intellectual have been defined in relation to distinctive Palestinian notions of the political, the national and, primarily, the historical – and how representations of repatriation have underscored these relations. The analysis aims to understand the challenge posed to these notions by the Oslo accords of 1993. It argues that the accords recast the framework for relations between the political, the national, the intellectual and the historical in Palestinian discourse in ways understood by many of those discussed as unparalleled since the early years of the PLO that had previously provided the clearest framework for these relations. Oslo prompted a complex reconfiguration of notions of historicity in Palestinian discourse – and, therefore, of which narrative modes and national actors seemed best able to provide it. The distinctive ways in which Palestinian intellectuals have portrayed the value of their understanding of history have, I suggest, been particularly important in defining Palestinian national identity more broadly. This study thus seeks to complement existing approaches to the study of Palestinian national identity and nationalism. It uses Palestinian context as an especially pertinent case study for the recent wave of literature on the relations between collective memory, nationalism and national identity, and imaginative literature. The analysis draws largely on Palestinian public discourse, historiography and literature in the various languages in which this has been conducted, as well as original interviews with Palestinian intellectuals.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available