Towards a Comprehensive Bibliography of Sources: Locating Archives, Personal Collections, Memoires and Published and Unpublished Works

The first BA TCPH Workshop

The first TCPH workshop, entitled ‘Towards a Comprehensive Bibliography of Sources: Locating Archives, Personal Collections, Memoires and Published and Unpublished Works’ took place in November 2009 at St Edmund Hall, and the Department of Politics and International Relations, Oxford University.

The workshop explored both conceptual and practical approaches to locating sources and archives on the Palestinian national movement and its constituent groups for the period from 1965 to 1993. This is an exceptionally complex endeavour given the decades of occupation, wars, and violent dispersion, all which have taken their toll on available collections. Moreover, the clandestine nature of Palestinian political work of this period defines the material as a classic case of ‘hidden history’: basic retrieval and dissemination have yet to be undertaken in any systematic manner.

In order to overcome these challenges, the experiences of partner projects and programmes on resistance history were drawn upon for the workshop. The proceedings began with a lecture delivered at St Edmund Hall by Dr Gregory Houston, Director of the South African Democracy and Education Trust (SADET) and was chaired by Professor Nancy Bermeo (Oxford). Greg presented SADET’s multi-volume Road to Democracy Project, an encyclopaedic resource on the South African liberation struggle. His talk was co-sponsored by the DPIR and the RWR programme, and co-hosted by the Oxford Centre for the Study of Inequality and Democracy, the African Studies Centre, and Rhodes House. Closing remarks were delivered by Professor Neil MacFarlane, Head of Department at the DPIR.

The weekend workshop explored the methodological and conceptual questions of gathering and teaching Palestinian sources. Karma Nabulsi’s paper on contemporary Palestinian resistance historiography highlighted the various schools of thought as well as the gaps which require addressing. Professor Bayan al-Hout (Lebanese University) discussed the state of teaching and sources in Lebanon, based on a lifetime’s experience in the field. Dr Sana Hamoudeh (Beirut Arab University) focused on the collection of the Institute of Palestine Studies, while Mr Suheil Natour (al-Hurriyah) outlined the private holdings of Palestinian political groups.

Anan Hamad (Bethlehem University) discussed the bibliographic survey of Palestinian university holdings and special collections. Elizabeth Durnford (TCPH Researcher) and Dr Abdel Razzaq Takriti (St Edmund Hall), outlined models of electronic dissemination and sharing of sources. Unfortunately, Professor Nayef Abu-Khalaf (An-Najah University) was prevented from travelling out of Palestine. However, his paper on sources and teaching in Palestinian universities was delivered by Mr Ghayyath Jazi (An-Najah University).

Comparative input from previous British Academy Republicans Without Republics network was offered from both Drs Sudhir Hazareesingh and Marc Stears (both from Oxford) who discussed methods, sources, and conceptual frameworks in the case of French and American resistance and oppositional histories respectively.

The second workshop in the British Academy UK-Middle East Capacity Sharing Partnership programme: ‘Teaching Contemporary Palestinian Political History: Setting a Collaborative Research Agenda and Building Capacity’, will take place in Lebanon at the Institute for Palestine Studies in Beirut on Wednesday 29 September, 2010.

Greg Houston

Greg Houston on the multi-volume research of the South African Democracy Education Trust (SADET)

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Sudhir Hazareesingh

Sudhir Hazareesingh sets out the framework of France's political tradition of resistance

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Karma Nabulsi

Karma Nabulsi traces the development of Palestinian resistance history

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Marc Stears

Marc Stears talks about critical historiography, teaching, and sources in the US

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Bayan El Hout

Bayan El Hout discusses locating rare written sources in Lebanon

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