SOAS University of London

Centre for Gender Studies

Ms Kim Jezabel Zinngrebe

BA (London), MSc (LSE), MPhil (Oxford)
  • Research


Kim Jezabel Zinngrebe
Centre for Palestine Studies (CPS)

PhD Student Associate Member

Ms Kim Jezabel Zinngrebe
Email address:
Thesis title:
Defying 'the plan': intimate politics among Palestinian women in Israel
Internal Supervisors


Kim is a fourth year PhD student at the Centre for Gender Studies at SOAS, University of London. She holds a BA in Modern History and Politics (London), a MSc in Politics and Government in the European Union (LSE) and a M.Phil. in Modern Middle Eastern Studies (Oxford). She currently works as teaching assistant for the History Department of Royal Holloway, University of London and conference administrator at the Centre for Gender Studies, SOAS.

PhD Research

This thesis investigates the politics of the intimate among Palestinian women in Israel. 'The intimate' here is understood as the domains of women's daily experiences and politics of the body, family, affect, and sexuality. The central aim of my research is to illuminate, trace, and unpick settler colonial power and native women's resistance at the level of the intimate, which, it will be argued, cannot be perceived as a mere 'sideshow', but constitutes a pivotal and contested terrain of the struggle between coloniser and colonised. Zionist attack on and control over indigenous women's intimate politics is intrinsic to and buttresses the settler colonial order in Israel. Coiled together with various forms of patriarchal power, Palestinian women frequently experience this oppression as intertwined and inseparable. One of my interviewees captured this domination over women's intimate lives as, 'the Palestinian woman in Israel is born with a plan: she has to be a "good woman" for her society, and she has to be a "good Arab" for Israel'.

Drawing on interviews with more than 80 Palestinian women, I attempt to unpick how settler colonialism works at the level of the intimate, and, more importantly, demonstrate the various ways in which these women experience and defy Zionist and patriarchal control - what is referred to as 'the plan' - over their intimate politics. From a critical vantage point at the intersections of gender and settler colonial studies, this research aims to, once again, dissolve the conceptual boundaries between 'the personal' and the 'political' in order to identify and grasp the relationship between settler colonial power and indigenous women's bodies, sexuality, and affect not as something 'latent' but central to women's quotidian life under occupation. By carefully exploring and disentangling the complex and often contradictory experiences and narratives of Palestinian women, a wide array of intimate politics emerges. Some of the women's practices are motivated by feminist ideology, some take place within social parameters of 'appropriateness', while others reject political or ideological frameworks altogether. What they share, however, is a common sentiment of a new national subjectivity which demands national liberation to go hand in hand with women's liberation. This sentiment was captured by one woman neatly as: 'To be "Palestinian" is to be free as a woman".


  • Zinngrebe, K.J. (forthcoming) 'Palestinian women in Israel: Embodied Citizen Strangers', Special Issue of Settler Colonial Studies 'Settlers and Citizens: A Critical View of Israeli Society'.
  • Zinngrebe, K.J. (2016) 'Reflections on the silence on sexual violence among Palestinian feminists in Israel', Feminist Review Volume 112, Palgrave Macmillan
  • Zinngrebe, K.J. (2015) ‘Claiming marginal space: the contentious politics of citizenship among Palestinian feminists in Israel’ book chapter in Contentious Politics in the Middle East, (ed.) Gerges, F., Middle East Centre, London School of Economics and Political Science
  • Zinngrebe, K.J. (2014) ‘Review of The Politics of Reproduction in Ottoman Society, 1838-1900, by Gülhan Balsoy’, Feminist and Women Studies Association (UK & Ireland)


  • 'European Conference on Politics and Gender', ECPR Standing Group on Gender and Politics, University of Uppsala, Sweden, 11-13 June 2015
  • 'Acts of Citizenship in Today's Palestine', Institut français du Proche-Orient & Institute for Palestine Studies, Ramallah, Palestine, 25 March 2015
  • 'Gendered Citizenship: History, Politics and Democracy', The Ida Blom Conference, University of Bergen, Bergen, 14-15 October 2013
  • 'Contentious Politics in the Middle East', LSE Middle East Centre PhD Conference, London School of Economics, London, 30 September 2013
  • '╩║Doing Citizenship╩║ in the Middle East and North Africa', SeSaMO Conference 2013, University of Pavia, Pavia, 17-19 September 2013
  • 'Minorities and Majorities: Between Maginality and Participation in the Middle East', BRIMES Gaduate Section Conference, University of Oxford, Oxford, 8-9 May 2013


  • Centre for Gender Studies
  • Centre for Palestine Studies (CPS) PhD Student Associate Member
  • Doctoral Studentship Evangelisches Studienwerk Villigst (funded by the German Protestant Church), awarded 2012


  • Feminist theory
  • Palestine/Israel
  • Politics and History of the Middle East
  • Relations between the Middle East and Europe