SOAS University of London

London Middle East Institute

Rags, Tommy-Guns, and the King: Palestinians and the Pedagogical Regime, c. 1956.

Mezna Qato, St Antony's College, Oxford

Date: 26 February 2013Time: 5:45 PM

Finishes: 26 February 2013Time: 7:00 PM

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings Room: Khalili Lecture Theatre

Type of Event: Lecture

The educational system of the 1950s is often described as one from which the Jordanian regime, through curricular and instructional narratives and an impenetrable school inspection and surveillance system, attempted to contain the potency of the pedagogical space for its own ends. While left unacknowledged in Hashemite royalist historiography, in Palestinian historiography, this socialisation is often characterized as coercive and violent, a “silencing” of a Palestinian body politic by a hegemonic yet fragile and still consolidating state power seeing itself in contradiction to the aspirations of a counter-nationalist project.

Using a particular and peculiar textbook from the period as discursive and material evidence, my paper will offer an alternative historical reading of Palestinian education by foregrounding a local history of refugee educational life in which students, teachers, and bureaucrats, Palestinians and East Bank Jordanians, negotiate a deeply anxious relationship not just of coercion, but of deference, ambiguity and mutual consensus with the Hashemite regime and with each other.

Chair: Adam Hanieh, SOAS

Organiser: Council for British Research in the Levant and the London Middle East Institute

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