Europe’s first Centre for Palestine Studies

The first Centre for Palestine Studies (CPS) in Europe has been established at the University of Exeter.  The Centre will provide a unique PhD in Palestine Studies and through a series of research activities and events it will make a major contribution to current research in this area.

The newly created Centre is housed within the University’s Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies.  

The establishment of a Centre for Palestine Studies is an acknowledgement of the academic importance of the Palestine issue, and will be the only such centre in Europe.  The CPS will be directed by the historian Professor Ilan Pappé, known internationally for challenging traditional beliefs about the development of the Israel-Palestine situation. Professor Pappé regards the development of the Centre as a historic moment. He said ‘This Centre for Palestine Studies is long overdue, as the Palestine issue has been dominating European international politics for more than sixty years. Despite the immense scholarly interest in it, no European universities have attempted to address the issue in a concerted and institutionalised way. I regard the opening of the CPS by the University of Exeter as a rectification of long scholarly neglect of and academic disregard for, the Palestine issue.’

He added, ‘I am particularly enthused by the decision to locate the Centre for Palestine Studies within the University’s Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies. Too often the question of Palestine was excluded from its natural discipline: Middle Eastern, Islamic and Arab Studies. I am confident that the CPS has the potential to contribute not only in providing a better understanding of the Palestine question but also helping to advance the chances of peace and reconciliation between the peoples who live there.’

Other leading researchers working on Palestine-related issues in Exeter include Dr Ghada Karmi (Co-Director of the CPS), Dr Ruba Salih (Senior Lecturer, IAIS), Dr Uri Davis (IAIS Honorary Fellow, member of the Fatah Revolutionary Council), and Professor Mick Dumper (Professor of Middle East Politics, Department of Politics).

Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies Research Director, Professor Gareth Stansfield said ‘With the creation of a dedicated Centre for Palestine Studies, under Professor Pappé’s guidance, Exeter will be taking a lead in a multi-disciplinary approach to defining the study of the modern Middle East and Islamic World.’

Date: 1 December 2009

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