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Title: The Invention of Palestine
Authors: Foster, Zachary Jacob
Advisors: Schayegh, Cyrus
Contributors: Near Eastern Studies Department
Keywords: history of Palestine
maps of Palestine
Middle East history
Nations and nationalism
Origins of Palestinian identity
Subjects: Middle Eastern history
Issue Date: 2017
Publisher: Princeton, NJ : Princeton University
Abstract: Palestine exists in our minds, not in nature. If Palestine doesn’t exist, why do we identify with it? We identify with Palestine, first, because it has a name. In fact, we only identify with places we’ve named. Unnamed places, such as 22°29′05″N 22.48 to 53°46′19″E 53.77, have no identities based on them. But we don’t identify with every place we’ve named. We need to hear stories about a place if we are going to identify with it, stories about famines and wars, conquests and tribes, history, geography, economy, archeology and millions more topics. The more engaging the stories, the more likely we are to identify with places like Palestine. We also make maps of places like Palestine. The more maps we make, the more likely we are to identify with places like Palestine as well. Finally, we distinguish Palestine from other places. We exaggerate its glory and beauty and claim we have a special relationship to it. This dissertation explains when, how and why it all happened.
Alternate format: The Mudd Manuscript Library retains one bound copy of each dissertation. Search for these copies in the library's main catalog:
Type of Material: Academic dissertations (Ph.D.)
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Near Eastern Studies

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