Fobzu Writing Residency

The Fobzu Writing Residency was launched at the end of 2018 in order to support Palestinian scholarship and foster links between UK and Palestinian research networks.

Fobzu will be supporting an academic based at a Palestinian university to complete a writing project in London, with access to research facilities and UK academic networks.

The Fobzu Writing Residency is dedicated to supporting Palestinian scholarship by facilitating the completion of a writing project in London for a Palestinian scholar.

The Residency aims to further links between UK and Palestinian scholars and thereby contribute to challenging the international isolation faced by Palestinian higher education under occupation.

About the Residency

The first Fobzu Writing Residency will support a Palestinian scholar from a Palestinian university in the occupied Palestinian territories (oPt) to spend up to six weeks in London completing a proposed writing project. The residency may be undertaken during the Summer vacation or First/Fall Semester 2019, according to the preference of the successful candidate.

Fobzu will support visa procurement, travel from Palestine, arrange housing and access to the British Library or any other research facilities during the scholar’s stay. The recipient will benefit from a stipend of £2000 to cover living costs during the residency.

An initial orientation will be arranged, and introductions made to research and academic networks in London and the vicinity relevant to the scholar’s field of study.

Where appropriate, Fobzu will organise a public talk or reading for the writer in London.

Professor Hala Nassar is the first Fobzu Writer in Residence

Fobzu is delighted to announce that Professor Hala Khamis Nassar has been chosen from an impressive array of applicants to be the recipient of our very first Writing Residency for Palestinian scholars. Hala is an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Education at Bethlehem University, where she also holds the position of Assistant Vice President of Academic Affairs in Teaching and Learning, and Director of the Center of Excellence in Teaching and Learning. She received her PhD in Performing Arts and Middle Eastern Studies from the Free University in Berlin. She has published widely on the history of Arab theatre, with a particular focus on Palestinian cultural productions and drama.

Professor Nassar will spend her residency this summer in Oxford as an Academic Visitor at St Antony’s College. While in Oxford she will be completing her book on the history of Palestinian theatre. One of the first works of its kind, her book spans the late 19th century to the present and will explore the role of theatre and its various aesthetic forms in political and social transformation in Palestine and amongst Palestinians.

The Middle East Centre is delighted to be welcoming Dr Hala Nassar to Oxford in the summer of 2019. Her work on the history of theatre in Palestine, and on commemorating the Nakba in particular, is of such relevance to the interests of the faculty and students of the Centre. Our archival collections on Palestine and the holdings of our library will be of real use to her as she writes up her findings. We are also pleased to be engaging with the Friends of Birzeit University, which has a long association with the fellows of the Middle East Centre. We hope this visit is the start of a more regular exchange and we will work closely with Fobzu to build on these foundations.

Professor Eugene Rogan

Director, Middle East Centre, Oxford University

Such a life changing experience as this will not only enrich my scholarship, but also provide the space to write creatively and uninterrupted by the daily demands of teaching and administrative duties. I’m excited to share this wonderful history with everyone, and in particular with the broader theatre and arts world in Oxford, London and the UK.

Professor Hala Nassar

Bethlehem University


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