Ihab Saloul, born in Gaza, Palestine, in 1973. Ph.D. from the University of Amsterdam. Academic Coordinator Heritage and Memory Studies at University of Amsterdam & Visiting Professor of Culture and Politics at Free University Berlin.
Fellow (1 September 2014 – 30 June 2015)
Competing Memories and the Politics of Transnational Identity in the Middle East
How are Palestinian and Israeli competing memories of the homeland represented and remediated in different media, and how do these acts of recall move beyond political stalemate in both societies by rethinking “national identity”?
The Palestinian-Israeli conflict is extraordinarily relevant for the study of heritage and memory and vice versa. This book project explores the ways in which competing memories circulate in wider social worlds, helping to reshape contemporary social imaginations and political orders in the Middle East. In their compulsion to process histories of exile and trauma, Palestinian and Israeli intergenerational narratives of conflict and memorial practices reveal shifts of transnational identity construction from rivalry in victimhood and catastrophe to political activism and cultural agency. These shifts offer new possibilities for understanding how conflict and coexistence are played out between Palestinians and Israelis, but they also raise critical questions regarding repatriation and restitution. While this exchange is framed by formal procedures and rituals of memorialisation, the project emphasizes patterns of storytelling and cultural performativity which influence the circulation and transmission of competing memories, i.e. which narratives travel across Palestinians and Israelis and which ones fail to do so.
1) Catastrophe and Exile in the Modern Palestinian Imagination: Telling Memories. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012
2) ZOOM IN: Palestinian Refugees of 1948, Remembrances. Adwan, S, Ben-Zeev, E, Saloul, I. Dordrecht & Boston: The Republic of Letters, 2011
3) “‘Performative Narrativity’: Palestinian Identity and the Performance of Catastrophe”. Cultural Analysis: An Interdisciplinary Forum on Folklore and Popular Culture, (7) 2009: 5-39