A Milestone for Palestinian Studies

Historians in the News
tags: Palestine, Middle East Studies

Beshara Doumani, a historian and scholar of Palestinian studies, says he has devoted his career "to studying the history of peoples, places and time periods that have been ignored by mainstream scholarship on the Middle East."

"My first book was on the social history of Palestinians during the Ottoman period, and my last book was on the history of family life in the Ottoman Mediterranean especially with regards to the question of gender and property," he says. "I'm also very interested in the Palestinian condition in general and want to be very supportive of scholars working in this field. This helps institutionalize the field and shape its research agenda."

Speaking of institutionalization of a field, Doumani, who has been at Brown University since 2012, assumed a new title in July as the Mahmoud Darwish Professor of Palestinian Studies, in what may be the first endowed professorship in Palestinian studies at a U.S. university. Brown also has an endowed post-doctoral fellowship in Palestinian studies.

The new chair in Palestinian Studies is the third endowed professorship to be established in Middle East studies at Brown in recent years. The chair, named after the Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish, was funded by a coalition of nine different donors.

"I just do not see how any school can have Middle East studies without having Palestinian studies," E. Paul Sorensen, a Brown alumnus and one of the donors for the professorship, said in a press release issued by Brown. "Palestinians are an integral part of the history and culture of the region."

Read entire article at Inside Higher Ed

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