Award-winning book explores various forms of political activism employed by Palestinian women
The College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHSS) at Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU) recently hosted a book launch, signing and discussion with Dr. Sophie Richter-Devroe, associate professor in the Middle Eastern Studies Department at CHSS, who recently authored Women's Political Activism in Palestine.
The book traces Palestinian women’s different forms of political activism in peacebuilding, popular resistance, and everyday survival, and explores the intricate dynamics of daily life in Palestine. The book was awarded the National Women's Studies Association/University of Illinois Press First Book Prize.
As part of the event, Professor Issam Nassar, a faculty member at Illinois State University and Doha Institute for Graduate Studies acting as a discussant gave the audience his insights into the topic, and contextualized Dr. Richter-Devroe’s research on long-term ethnographic fieldwork in Palestine, Lebanon, Jordan, and Greece.
Speaking after the signing, Dr. Sophie, said: “When we talk about politics, we usually refer to macro-level issues including elections, political parties, or unions. In this book, I focus on everyday matters, and strive to answer questions on how Palestinian women do politics on a daily basis. My study, which is based on long-term ethnographic fieldwork in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, shows that in a context such as Palestine, where Israeli policies target the very fine grains of everyday life, so-called ‘ordinary’ activities, such as childrearing, farming or simply creating an atmosphere of ‘normal’ life, indeed are political. They must be understood and analyzed as a form of everyday resistance against Israeli settler-colonization of Palestinian lives.”
Dr. Richter-Devroe has conducted extensive research on the oral histories, memories, and narratives of women from the often forgotten Palestinian Naqab Bedouin population, and has worked with Dr. Ruba Salih from SOAS University of London on joint research on Palestinian refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, and the West Bank.
More recently, Dr. Devroe has led a research project on Syrian refugees in Italy and Greece, investigating the impact of the Syrian refugee crisis on the family and family-making practices in a transnational context.
CHSS promotes intercultural and social discourse and supports a growing community of translators, linguists, and working professionals. The college offers four interdisciplinary degrees in the fields of audiovisual translation, translation studies, women, society, and development; and digital humanities and societies.
For more information about CHSS, visit chss.hbku.edu.qa.