Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The Invention of Palestine
by Foster, Zachary J., Ph.D., Princeton University, 2017, 278; 10634618
Abstract (Summary)

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.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Schayegh, Cyrus
Commitee: Antrim, Zayde, Cook, Michael A., Gribetz, Jonathan
School: Princeton University
Department: Near Eastern Studies
School Location: United States -- New Jersey
Source: DAI-A 79/03(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Middle Eastern history
Keywords: History of Palestine, Maps of Palestine, Middle East history, Nations and nationalism, Origins of Palestinian identity, Palestine
Publication Number: 10634618
ISBN: 978-0-355-48023-8
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