Nearly half of the world's eight million Palestinians are
registered refugees, having faced partition and exile.
Landscape of Hope and Despair examines this refugee
experience in Lebanon through the medium of spatial practices and
identity, set against the backdrop of prolonged violence. Julie
Peteet explores how Palestinians have dealt with their experience
as refugees by focusing attention on how a distinctive Palestinian
identity has emerged from and been informed by fifty years of
refugee history. Concentrating ethnographic scrutiny on a
site-specific experience allows the author to shed light on the
mutually constitutive character of place and cultural
Palestinian refugee camps are contradictory places: sites of grim
despair but also of hope and creativity. Within these cramped
spaces, refugees have crafted new worlds of meaning and visions of
the possible in politics. In the process, their historical
predicament was a point of departure for social action and thus
became radically transformed. Beginning with the calamity of 1948,
Landscape of Hope and Despair traces the dialectic of
place and cultural identification through the initial despair of
the 1950s and early 1960s to the tumultuous days of the resistance
and the violence of the Lebanese civil war and its aftermath. Most
significantly, this study invokes space, place, and identity to
construct an alternative to the received national narratives of
Palestinian society and history.
The moving stories told here form a larger picture of these
refugees as a people struggling to recreate their sense of place
and identity and add meaning to their surroundings through the use
of culture and memory.
Table of Contents
You are viewing the table of contents
You do not have access to this
on JSTOR. Try logging in through your institution for access.