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Shatature (Literature of the Palestinian shatāt)

Shatature (Literature of the Palestinian shatāt)

How would a map of Palestinian culture look like? The world system of literary production for Palestinians has been globally spread out since the Nakba (1948) and their dispersion throughout the Arab and Western world (the shatāt). Mapping diasporic or exilic literature begs a global perspective as well as a dynamic tool that can track movement and change across time and space. This Digital Humanities project visually maps the circulation, international movement, and (im)mobility of Palestinian authors and specific Palestinian texts.

This database allows scholars to trace the wanderings of a particular person or a literary piece – across different languages and genres – throughout both concrete and imaginary maps. The website enables searches based on place (e.g. novels written in and on Haifa), language of writing (e.g. Arabic, Spanish, Hebrew, English, etc.), adaptations (e.g. to movies or plays), and years (e.g. which Palestinian writers were active in a certain decade). This online archive of the Palestinian literary world does not only offer easy access to such data, but it also visually links different pieces of information: scholars are able to track the traveling of a single text beyond its place of origin or the development of a certain trope throughout different decades, and many more intersections between different tags that the websites makes available. This platform is a useful tool for global analysis of Palestinian culture, beyond and in Palestine, giving a fuller image of diasporic culture and its far-reaching outlines.

This world map of Palestinian literature takes its cue from DH practices – such as the benefits of visualization, live mapping, and text analysis – as well as the discipline of world literature – which follows international literary economies, exchanges, and trespassing. As such, it makes cultural shifts visible in geographical terms and allows researchers to chart the movement of texts across national, linguistic, temporal, and cultural borders.

Primary Investigators: