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Category: Special Issue

Antiquities in Palestine as Post War Propaganda

Written by Chloe Emmott

Palestine was viewed by most in Britain, and the wider western world, as ‘the Holy Land’, the cradle of Christianity. After Allenby’s victory in 1918 and the creation of the Mandate (1923-1948), the British promoted themselves as worthy protectors of this important heritage for the world, with the press perpetuating propaganda of the British liberating and developing Palestine after ‘it had been ruined by generations of Turkish rule’. (The Scotsman, 31 August 1921).

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Frank Herbert’s ‘Dune’ and Orientalism

Written by Haifa Mahabir

I hesitated on writing this piece, a critique of Frank Herbert’s seminal contribution to the literatures of speculative fiction. It feels a bit beneath the urgency of the topics we ordinarily lend our time to in lensing the Middle East and Northern Africa—the whole heart-breaking aftermath of foreign imperial ambitions. Our dispossession, and our grief. Our resistance.  A Saidian orientalist  critique of Dune is far too easy. Frank Herbert’s masterpiece of course, regarded as a foundational text of the Science Fiction genre, is inarguably rife with orientalist motifs and imagery.

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Decolonising the Palestine Exploration Fund

Written by Felicity Cobbing, Yasmeen Elkhoudary and Avantika Clark

As historians, we utilise various resources to conduct our research – none as important as the archives we dig around in for those all important “primary sources”. But archives are not neutral spaces. We asked the Palestine Exploration Fund to share with us the way in which they are approaching the idea of decolonisation and what it means for an institution with a colonial history.

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War, Media and the ‘Middle East’

Written by Anne Caldwell

From the very beginning, this special issue was intended to question our academic and media narratives of the “Middle East” (or Southwest Asia) – the Levant and Palestine in particular. From the archives we utilise to the culture we analyse and the news media we consume, our understanding of South-West Asia and North Africa (SWANA) is not without its biases. This has never been clearer than in the current cultural clash over decolonisation, amplified in this moment by the crisis unfolding in Ukraine.

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