University of London Launches Centre for Palestine Studies


MARCH 2 2012


LONDON, March 2, 2012 (WAFA) – University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) launched on Thursday the Centre for Palestine Studies (CPS) as a newly constituted center of its London Middle East Institute, according to a SOAS launch invitation.

“This initiative brings together considerable academic expertise with deep roots and a long history at SOAS,” said the invitation.

“At its inception, the Centre’s membership draws from over 30 SOAS academics embracing a wide range of fields and placing SOAS as one of the world’s most unique concentrations of academic specialism on Palestine,” it added.

“Our aim is to promote the highest quality research on Palestine, and we will seek the means to attain this goal,” it said.

Gilbert Achcar, Professor of Development Studies and International Relations at SOAS, became the first Chair of the Centre for Palestine Studies.

Introducing the new center on its website, SOAS wrote: “The question of Palestine has long been a fundamental issue to the Middle East with far-reaching global significance. The Israel-Palestine conflict is one of the most complex and protracted conflicts of our time. All countries across the region are deeply involved with its various dimensions, Palestinian refugees remain the largest body of refugees in the world, Palestine is the theatre of the longest ongoing occupation recognised as such in international law, Palestinian holders of Israeli citizenship have been permanently engaged in fighting for their rights, and a wide range of social and political movements claim to represent the Palestinian voice.”

It added, “Reflecting this complexity and central importance to the region, the academic study of Palestine and Palestinians generates a large and ever-growing body of knowledge across every disciplinary field.”

It went on: “For SOAS, the study of Palestine and Palestinians has always been a prominent feature of research and teaching, involving a considerable number of staff and students. The CPS provides an institutional home for this work across the various disciplines represented at SOAS, including Politics, History, Development Studies, Economics, Anthropology, Gender Studies, Law, Media and Film Studies, Art, and Music.”


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