Middle East Studies


The conflict between Israel and Palestine has given rise to a plethora of unanswered questions, often associated with disputed narratives and ever-changing environment and geography. This multi-year project, led by Omer Bartov, seeks to provide a forum for a deeper understanding of the region and its peoples. Hosting international workshops, conferences, and visiting speakers from across the disciplines, the project asks: What makes for the bond between individuals and groups on the one hand, and a place, on the other, be it real or imagined, tangible as its stones or ephemeral as the hopes and longings it evokes.

This project therefore seeks to gain and provide a more nuanced and empathetic view of the myriad ways in which the land of Israel / Palestine has become part of the two peoples’ mental, mythical, and religious landscape. Since 2015 the project has hosted seven international workshop where well over a hundred papers were presented and discussed, on topics such as “nationalism, settler colonialism, and decolonization”; “the Holocaust and the Nakba”; “Faith, Ideology, and Education”; “Space and Time”; “Future Scenarios”; and “Partitions.” An edited volume with some of the most important contributions will be published next year. The project has also hosted a series of invited, public lectures, by such speakers as Tom Segev, Benny Morris, Gershon Shafir, Nadera Shalhoub-Kevorkian, Anita Shapira, Derek Penslar, David Myers, and Eric Weitz. Plans are under way to host another workshop in the fall 2020 semester on the question of federations within the framework of two states–one homeland. 

About: Omer Bartov

About: Israel-Palestine, Lands and Peoples project