Award-winning scholar of modern Palestinian and Arab history, Professor Abdel Razzaq Takriti (University of Houston), gave the third lecture of the 2019 Education, Occupation & Liberation series the day following the annual commemoration of Nakba Day. The talk on ‘Decolonising the Study of Palestine 71 Years after the Nakba’ was held at the Institute of Education and chaired by Professor Karma Nabulsi (Oxford University).

 

Professor Takriti opened his talk by describing the limitations of the ‘decolonisation’ framework for approaching the study of Palestine and other colonial contexts. The task for scholars, he argued was more positive, ‘to liberate ourselves from the frameworks that enable colonialism to continue’.

 

Taking this as a point of departure Professor Takriti provided an overview and critique of some of the influential frameworks that have governed the study of Palestine in the western academy. He contended that paradigms such as the ‘Israeli-Palestinian conflict’, ‘competing nationalisms’ and ‘relational history’ ultimately serve to obscure the structural reality of colonialism which has been experienced by Palestinians for over a century.

 

The alternative for scholars of Palestine, Professor Takriti was ‘to find a way of speaking of the Palestinian people in a way that centres them, in a way that confronts attempts to fragment them, in a way that confronts the frameworks that cover up what has taken place in Palestine and what continues to take place today’.

 

 

Professor Abdel Razzaq Takriti’s talk took place on 16th May at the Institute of Education (UCL). The video of the talk is available here.

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