Call for Papers: Jerusalem Quarterly Special Issue on ‘Spying, Intelligence Services, Security and Surveillance’

The editors of Jerusalem Quarterly are seeking contributions for a special issue on ‘Spying, Intelligence Services, Security, and Surveillance in the Recent History of Jerusalem and Palestine’, to be published mid-2016.

The issue was inspired by Shuruq Harb’s essay “The First Palestinian Spy: Rahab the Prostitute and Yashu’ Ben Nun’s Army in Jericho”.

Suggested topics include:

1. The NILI Group: Abrahamson, the Ottomans and the British

2. Aziz Bey: Jamal Pasha’s Mukhabarat in Damascus and Jerusalem

3. British, German, Austrian and French Intelligence in Syria and Palestine

4. Antonin Jaussen: The Archaeologist as Spy

5. Max von Oppenheim, the Eighth Bureau and Teshkilat Makhsusah (Teskilat Mehsuseh)

6. Aerial Photography, Surveillance and the Bavarian Air force in Palestine

7. Monitoring ‘Suspicious Activities’ in the Old City: Cameras, Sound Sensors and Bio Metric Surveillance

8. Jordanian Intelligence Records in Jerusalem: The ISA archives.

9. Um al Qura: The Village Leagues and their newspaper during the First Intifada

10. Review of al Istikhbarat al Uthmaniyya published recently by Dar al Farabi (Beirut)

Please consider sending chapters from books in preparation, or recently published.

All contributions should be sent to Jerusalem Quarterly, IPS, Ramallah POB 212, Palestine or by email to stamari[at]palestine-studies.org.

Thanks to Roberto Mazza for sharing.

Advertisements

British Mandate Jerusalemites Photo Library

sansur

The Sansur Building on Zion Square, one of the busiest triangles in downtown Jerusalem, bordered by Jaffa Road and Ben Yehuda Street.

If you’re interested in Jerusalem’s early twentieth century history and haven’t yet liked British Mandate Jerusalemites Photo Library on Facebook, I highly recommend that you do. The page has been a welcome addition to my newsfeed since I discovered it earlier this year, popping evocative black and white images of a vastly different city from the one we know today in amongst the usual pictures of food, and other people’s cats (ok, I enjoy the cats).

I’ve particularly appreciated it since the start of the summer, when its intriguing photographs have helped to balance out friends’ seemingly endless holiday snaps, which I gaze at enviously while stuck in the library, writing up my thesis…

The page’s author, Mona, is conducting research for a book she hopes to publish about her mother’s life in Jerusalem, through black and white photographs of members of the city’s community during the British Mandate period. She intends to include short essays describing the photographs, as well as their historic significance, and their meaning in her mother’s life. It’s one of the most committed family history projects I’ve seen!

Mona has an essay on photographs of schoolgirls in British Mandate Palestine in a special issue of the Journal of Palestine Studies, which you can read here. You can also read the Editorial by Issam Nassar, another a scholar of photography in this period, on the journal’s website. In her article, Mona describes trying to identify the girls in an album she inherited, and feeling as if she was in a ‘”race against time” to rescue the past from oblivion’.

There are fascinating conversations in the comments beneath photographs, as followers of the page manage – amazingly – to identify the people included, and sometimes, the far-reaching places to which they and their families were scattered after 1948. Some followers of this blog with knowledge of the Mandate period may be able to join in. Others might just like to appreciate the bittersweet images of a lost, and often forgotten, era of Palestine’s history.

Here are a few more pictures from recent posts on the page:

abush

Helen & Georgette Abusharr, Sumaya & Samira Matar, Adele Hannoun, Aida Mistkawi and Salwa Morcos (whose father owned several hotels in Jerusalem), at the Rosary School in Jerusalem, 1947.

Bread seller on Wad St. in the Old City of Jerusalem, 1939.

Bread seller on Wad St. in the Old City of Jerusalem, 1939.

Katingo Hanania Deeb, with her women friends, preparing to demonstrate by car at the onset of the 1936-1939 Arab Revolt in Palestine, which was a nationalist uprising by Palestinian Arabs against British colonial rule, as a demand for independence and opposition to mass Jewish immigration, Jerusalem, 1936.

Katingo Hanania Deeb, with her women friends, preparing to demonstrate by car at the onset of the 1936-1939 Arab Revolt in Palestine, which was a nationalist uprising by Palestinian Arabs against British colonial rule, as a demand for independence and opposition to mass Jewish immigration, Jerusalem, 1936.

A wonderful caption on the above photograph:

‘This photograph speaks a thousand words about these dignified and politically committed women, but it also provides us with a glimpse of their style and sophistication, the way they dressed, the hats, the scarves, the sunglasses. A little gem of a photo that makes me proud to be a Palestinian woman, walking in the footsteps of such giants.

Hannah Boast

Jerusalem Interrupted: Modernity and Colonial Transformation, 1917-Present

A new collection, Jerusalem Interrupted: Modernity and Colonial Transformation, 1917-present, edited by Lena Jayyusi and published by Interlink, examines the Arab history of the city.

The volume includes contributions from scholars Issam Nassar, Sandy Sufian, and Nadia Abu El-Haj, among others, and covers a wide range of topics, such as broadcasting, music, and colonial medicine.From Jayyusi in the Introduction:

The history of colonization is always the history of suppression of various texts and voices, as well as ways of being, and the reinscription into discourse and narrative of an alternate set of histories that are predicated on that suppression. ‘Absence’ is not merely docile, it is a produced deficit in knowledge, a kind of negative symbolic capital, a weight and value accruing to that which colonizes empty space. The silenced past needs to speak. The silenced past needs also to be reconnected with the vocal present, in order to speak fully and to play a critical role in subverting the silences planned in the present and the further transformations these silences would enable.

It looks like a fascinating book and there are certainly a few chapters I’ve bookmarked as ‘to read’.

Jerusalem Interrupted forms part of a small but growing field of studies on the city focusing on Arab culture and society in the Ottoman and Mandate periods, often relying on archives such as Islamic court documents, municipal council records, and family papers to reconstruct the details of everyday life.

This new collection sits alongside works by writers including Salim Tamari and most recently, Menachem Klein (whose book was reviewed here by British-Palestinian novelist Selma Dabbagh), as well as the work of Imagining Jerusalem network members Roberto Mazza and Jacob Norris.

Thanks to Roberto Mazza for drawing our attention to this book on Twitter.

Hannah Boast

New Issue and CFP: Jerusalem Art History Journal: An Undergraduate eJournal

journalJerusalem Art History Journal is a new undergraduate eJournal, edited by Imagining Jerusalem network member Loren Lerner. The inaugural issue can be downloaded here.

The issue features a selection of essays produced by students of Loren’s course ‘City of Jerusalem: Ideas and Images’, which she teaches in the Department of Art History at Concordia University in Montreal.

From the issue Introduction:

‘[City of Jerusalem: Ideas and Images] considers different attachments to Jerusalem through visual perceptions and artistic representations at the religious, social, and political levels. Its focus is on the multifaceted narratives, allegiances, and ideas of the city’s history covering ancient times, the Roman and Byzantine periods, the Arab, Crusader, and Mamluk periods, and the years under Ottoman, British Mandate, Jordan/Israeli, and Israeli rule. Of central importance is the visual imagery of the real and imagined Jerusalem in the art and architecture created by different communities over thousands of years.’

The essays explore the art, architecture, archaeological sites, and urban spaces of Jerusalem from a range of eras. Others discuss works of art created by the students themselves, in which they produced their own visual response to the city.

Loren hopes that the journal will become a student-run, peer-reviewed publication, open to all universities. Contributions to the next issue (in English or French) are currently invited, and should be sent to loren.lerner[at]sympatico.ca by 1 April 2015. The Call for Papers can be downloaded here.

New network member: Dr Jacob Norris

Bethlehem 2Jacob Norris is Lecturer in Middle Eastern History at the University of Sussex. He was previously Research Fellow at Pembroke College, Cambridge, after completing his PhD at Cambridge in 2010. Jacob’s current research looks at the history of Bethlehem through the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. In that period Bethlehem was one of the world’s most globally connected trading towns. In the 19th century in particular, merchants from Bethlehem established themselves in all corners of the globe, acting as the “pioneers” of a much wider movement of Syrians, Lebanese and Palestinians away from the Ottoman Empire. Key to these movements were the unique “Holy Land” devotional goods crafted in Bethlehem from mother-of-pearl and olive wood.

Jacob’s publications include the monograph, Land of Progress: Palestine in the Age of Colonial Development, 1905-1948, published in 2013 by Oxford University Press. He has also published recent articles on Bethlehem in the Journal of Middle East Migration Studies, Jerusalem Quarterly, History Today and The British Museum Technical Bulletin. He is currently preparing a monograph on Bethlehem, provisionally titled Bethlehem: the Global Story of a Little Town.

Ottoman Cosmopolitanism Masterclass on Transcultural Ottoman Memories, London, 29 November

The AHRC-funded Ottoman Cosmopolitanism network is hosting a masterclass for postgraduate and early career researchers on the topic of ‘Transmedial/Transcultural Memories: Points of Convergence’, which may be of interest to researchers working on Ottoman Jerusalem. The deadline for applications is 15 October, so get writing!

The following is reblogged from the Ottoman Cosmopolitanism blog:

Transmedial/Transcultural Memories: Points of Convergence

London, Saturday 29 November 2014

The Ottoman Cosmopolitanism Network is pleased to present a free half-day masterclass on the topic of transmedial/transcultural Ottoman memories for postgraduate students and early career researchers (who have completed their PhD for no more than 3 years), led by theorist of postmemory, Marianne Hirsch (Professor, Columbia University) and archivist/creator of aka Kurdistan, Susan Meiselas (Magnum photographer). The class will focus on the ways in which transcultural memories becomes crucially translated across various media, including trans-modal forms, e.g. in combination with websites and books, films and exhibitions. The class will also explore the nature of disputed memories and representations of particular attachments to land and place in spite of histories of trauma and exile. While not mandatory to attend, the second half of the day will be dedicated to performances by storytellers and cultural activists who practise differing creative modalities of articulating transcultural Ottoman memories.

Due to the interactive nature of the masterclass, there are only 25 positions available. In order to apply, please fill out the below application form. If accepted, you will be expected to produce of a poster (A4 size fine) which best represents your research and its relation to the central themes of the class. The poster (which will be shared in the class) must include (a) a maximum 300-word description of your current research and how it relates to the topic of the class, and (b) any kind of visual representation of your research: images, diagrams, etc. You may choose to include your poster as part of your application. Applications are encouraged from any field of discipline and do not need to be practice-based. Applicants should also be aware that there will be a small amount of required reading by Hirsch and Meiselas (which will be provided through email) before the class.

Click on the following link for the Ottoman Masterclass Application Form, which is due by 15 October 2014. For a pdf version, click here.

3,000 photos of Middle East from 1867-1914 now online

Stereoscopic view of Al-Aqsa Mosque, Jerusalem.

Stereoscopic view of Al-Aqsa Mosque, Jerusalem.

The British Library’s Endangered Archives Programme (EAP) has recently digitised 3,000 photographs of the Middle East from the Maison Bonfils collection, dating from 1867-1914.

The collection includes many images of Jerusalem and Palestine, including the photograph of Al-Aqsa Mosque featured above.

As the project overview explains, these photographs are a small selection from a vast archive of 40,000 photographs produced by the French Bonfils family, who in 1867 established the first photographic studio in Beirut, which they named ‘Maison Bonfils’.

The archive is currently under threat, given that it is not housed in an institution which will secure its future, while its contents are not catalogued, and difficult to navigate.

The creation of a database of the photographs by the EAP will provide a useful resource for scholars, while preserving this valuable heritage from the Ottoman Middle East. It’s also a fascinating archive to browse through, for a glimpse of a familiar region at a very different time.

Via Cathy Collins of the EAP, on Twitter.