CFP - Insaniyyat Conference - Palestinian Anthropology: Thinking Without a State

Aamer Ibraheem Announcement
Subject Fields
Anthropology, Cultural History / Studies, Humanities, Indigenous Studies, Middle East History / Studies

Insaniyyat Conference

Palestinian Anthropology: Thinking Without a State

Birzeit, Palestine, January 2019

Call for Papers

Insaniyyat, the recently formed Society of Palestinian Anthropologists, invites participants to submit abstracts, attend roundtables, and participate in the society’s second gathering. Papers and roundtables should address the subject of Palestine and Palestinian communities anywhere as topics of anthropological inquiry. The conference is in collaboration with the PhD program in inter-disciplinary social sciences at Birzeit University. For its three-day conference, Palestinian Anthropology: Thinking Without a State, Insaniyyat invites participants to explore the following questions: How can we cultivate and enrich a Palestinian anthropology? What are the theoretical and/or political, ethnographic contributions of anthropological research on Palestine to the discipline? What are the thematic intersections that do or should command ethnographic attention in a sovereignless Palestine? In what ways might Palestine as an epistemic site offer critical reflections on the modern enterprise of studying the Other that is arguably anthropology? What are the challenges of conducting fieldwork in Palestine and among Palestinian communities in diaspora?

The lives and deaths of Palestinians have been documented, researched, debated, and contested in academic research for over a century. Early anthropological writings about Arab communities in general were shaped by variegated Orientalist portrayals of the region. Writings on Palestine and Palestinian communities have not been an exception. However, in the past three decades, critical anthropological writings have started to document and analyze the experiences of Palestinians and their communities. This conference is a gathering of Palestinian anthropologists from home and exile to discuss the ways they study, explore and document the range of Palestinian experiences. As an epistemic space, Palestine in this conference, will offer anthropology a critique of the parochialism of Western scholarship: it concealments, confusions and aporias.

Anthropology of Palestine is moving towards diversified fields that are not exhausted by binaries of occupation/liberation, resistance/adaptation, 1948/1967 or NGOs/Armed Struggle and so on. The reality of colonization dwells in an ontological complexity. Insaniyyat was birthed through these critiques and concerns.


About Insaniyyat:

Insaniyyat is an initiative of Palestinian anthropologists that began in 2015, and it is devoted to promoting anthropological inquiry among Palestinians and about Palestine, and the rest of the world. It advocates for the development of anthropological knowledge in diverse subfields and related ethnographic research, while always being attuned to social and political justice. Insaniyyat aims to offer anthropological scholarship to various audiences, both local and global, and to provide professional support for Palestinians working in the discipline of anthropology by promoting their academic research and by promoting ethnographic writing in the Arabic language. Finally, Insaniyyat is committed to spreading knowledge about anthropology among Palestinian university students and to introducing anthropology to the wider public.

Abstracts can be submitted in either Arabic or English, and should be no longer than 500 words.

Send your abstract to:


Important dates:

  • Deadline for submission: 15 October, 2018
  • Date of notification of acceptance by: 1 November, 2018
  • Deadline for conference registration: 1 December, 2018
  • Conference dates: 4,5,6 January, 2019

For any inquiries regarding the conference, please contact:

Contact Email