Postgraduate Module Descriptor

ARAM204: The History and Historiography of the Palestine Question

This module descriptor refers to the 2016/7 academic year.


NQF Level7
Credits30 ECTS Value15
Term(s) and duration

This module ran during term 1 (11 weeks)

Academic staff

Professor Ilan Pappe (Convenor)





Available via distance learning


This is a historiographical module for MA Students with basic background in the history of the Middle East and international politics. It is structured in a way that will help you to write your postgraduate and academic dissertations in the future by showing you how to construct a historical research with the help of updated and relevant theoretical and conceptual background. It will offer you an understanding of the relevant literature that explores the link between power and the writing of history and it will demonstrate how this impact operated in the case of Middle Eastern historiography in general and that of Israel and Palestine, in particular.


The first section will introduce you to the updated theories on the topic while, in the second part, you will learn how these theories have been employed by other scholars in the field.  The main theories explore how ideology, identity, culture and other backgrounds impact how the narratives of history are spanned by professional historians despite their aspirations for objectivity and neutrality. The case studies will show how orientalism, Zionism, Palestinian nationalism and other factors impact the historiography of the conflict on both sides of the divide and how the historiographical balance and debate on the topic developed over the years with the phenomenon of the ‘new Israeli history’ as its centrepiece.


There is no pre-requisite  or co-requisite for this module and no specific skills, but you will be asked to read theoretical and abstract material apart from the concrete research on the historiography of the Arab-Israeli conflict and examples of how major works of the field can be deconstructed with the help of the updated theories that expose the impact of power on knowledge production.

The aims of this module are to acquaint you with the historiographcial debate on the Palestine question after they were introduced to the history of the country in the BA stage. The module will help you to explore the connection between general debates on historiography, in particular nationalism and historical narratives, and the reconstruction of the past. You will learn what role the past plays in the current question of Palestine

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