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A Critical History of the Israel/Palestine Conflict

Duration: Three weeks

Overview

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Lana Tatour

Lana Tatour

Convenor

Start of programme: 30 June 2014

Mode of Attendance: Full Time

The Israel/Palestine conflict is among the most contested issues globally, with sharply contrasting opinions among scholars and the public generally. Raging for the past century, and dominating the headlines for decades, the Israel/Palestine conflict continues to elicit interest, involvement and concern well outside the Middle East. In this module we approach the conflict from a scholarly perspective – in order to understand, analyse and relate it more broadly. The aim is to provide students with the tools to approach a topic of historical complexity and sharp contention  – and to make sense of it.

The module provides a historical overview of the Israel-Palestine conflict and examines its political, social and cultural reflections, from the late Ottoman Palestine to the present day. The course combines sociological and political analysis, following political narratives as well as social history “from below”, to give students a rich understanding of the conflict. It brings a variety of contrasting perspectives on the conflict, its underlying causes and dynamics; these perspectives include not only the two “official” narratives, the Israeli and the Palestinian narratives, but also those of voices of marginalised groups. Attention will be given to groups whose position does not fit easily with the nationalist narratives: local Jewish communities in Palestine, Arab Palestinian collaborators with the British and the Zionists, Middle Eastern Jews in Israel, and Palestinian citizens of Israel. Comparative perspectives on gender, minorities, and political religion will be used to question the differences and similarities of the two sides.

Social Programme

You will also be able to enjoy our social programme, starting with a welcome party and a river cruise on the Thames. A guided tour of historical Bloomsbury where SOAS is situated will help you find your way around the campus area. You will also receive discount codes for day trips and overnight tours with our partner International Friends once you have registered for one of our courses.  

Further details: International Friends.

Dates

The summer school will run from Monday 30 June - Friday 18 July 2014

Fees

Discounts

An early bird discount of 10% is available if fees are paid by 15 April 2014.
10% discount for SOAS Alumni.
20% discount for current SOAS students.
Other discounts are available for partner institutions and groups, please email summerschool@soas.ac.uk for further information.

Tuition

A tuition fee of £1250 will be charged per 3-week programme. This figure does not include accommodation fees.

Accommodation

A limited number of rooms will be available at International Hall which is located in the heart of Bloomsbury. You will be able to request a place once your application has been approved. The cost for 20 nights is £800, which includes breakfast every day. Please email summerschool@soas.ac.uk to reserve place.

Application fee

A one-off, non-refundable application fee of £55 will be charged to cover administration costs. Please visit the SOAS online store to make your application fee payment, once you have submitted your summer school application.

Credits

Students are usually able to obtain credits from their home institution and generally our courses receive 3 credits in the US system and 7.5 ECTS in the European system. However the summer courses remain non-accredited by SOAS. If you intend to claim credits from your home institution, please check the requirements with them before you enrol.

We will be happy to assist you in any way we can, however please be aware that the decision to award credits rests with your home institution.

Assessment will be optional and will vary for each course. Participants will be provided with a certificate of attendance and transcripts will be available on request.

Contacts

For more information, please email Sophie Dilley at summerschool@soas.ac.uk

Structure

This course provides a critical overview of the Israel-Palestine conflict and examines its political and social reflections, from 1900 to the present day. The course combines sociological and political analysis, following political narratives as well as social history “from below”, to give students a rich understanding of the conflict. It brings a variety of contrasting perspectives on the conflict, its underlying causes and dynamics; these perspectives include not only the two “official” narratives, the Israeli and the Palestinian, but also those of voices of marginalised groups.

The course is built of 12 lectures, two hours each; four lectures in each week. Each lecture, except for the first introductory lecture, is followed by a one hour tutorial, in which the subject of the lecture is discussed by a reading of a text or a film. The texts chosen encompass a broad selection, from political tracts, manifestos, diary excerpts, poems and short stories – in view of giving the students a comprehensive overview of perspectives and source materials.

The first week will be devoted to late Ottoman and British Mandate history of Palestine. The second week will cover the 1948 war, Israeli and Palestinian societies and political structures in the Palestinian refugee diaspora, Israel and the West Bank and Gaza between 1967 and 1993. The third week will look at the effects of neo-liberalism and globalistion (the Oslo process and its collapse), political religion and and gender in the Israel/Palestine conflict.

The course will use James Gelvin’s The Israel-Palestine conflict (Cambridge 2007) as a main reference.

Structure: The course will run from Monday - Thursday and consist of 40 hours of lectures and seminars, plus extra activities such as study skills, trips and films throughout the three weeks.

Assessment: is optional and will be in the form of a 2000-2500 word essay to be handed in 2 weeks after the end of the course.

Teaching & Learning

Teaching & Learning

At the end of a course, a student should be able to demonstrate:

  • Understand the overall historical framework of the development of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the 20th century as seen from several contrasting viewpoints.
  • Analyse key aspects in this highly contested topic, through critical reading of the literature of its many shades; argue her own position while engaging with other viewpoints.
  • Think critically about the categories of analysis of the conflict, and consider the conflict in wider terms than the historical specificities of Israel/Palestine, in terms of global and regional developments.
  • Demonstrate awareness of the underlying social forces and effects of the conflict on both Israeli and Palestinian societies.

How to Apply

In order to join our Summer School, you will need to meet the following entry requirements:

  • A minimum English language requirement if English is not your first language:
    • IELTS (www.ielts.org), 7 overall or higher, with at least 6.5 in all subscores.
    • iBT 105+ with 22 in all subscores or 100 overall with no less than 25 in writing and no less than 22 in any other subscores.
    • Or equivalent.

Summer School Application Form (pdf; 779kb)

Application deadline for the summer school courses is 31 May 2014.