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Strategies of resistance and the significance of hope in Palestinian literature and film

Abu Jbara, Yazan Hamzeh (2022) Strategies of resistance and the significance of hope in Palestinian literature and film. Master of Research (MRes) thesis, University of Kent,. (doi:10.22024/UniKent/01.02.99400) (KAR id:99400)


The starting point of this dissertation is that biopolitics is widely practiced in occupied Palestine, raising the question of the extent to which resistance takes a biopolitical form. I will analyse how iterations of the body, stationary or in motion, have changed in colonial occupied Palestine and for people living in exile vis-à-vis postcolonial resistance strategies and hope. This will be achieved by examining novellas, poetry, images, film, and prison literature produced by the Palestinian communities from 1948 onwards. The dissertation contributes to the analysis of what I term thin and thick resistance, which can constitute either separate or composite strategies to resistance praxis. While thin resistance instils endurance of hardship, resilience in outlook and behaviour, such as non-violent resistance or Sumud in Palestinian context, thick resistance takes a violent approach. This dissertation will consider the distinction between violent and the non-violent resistance but will also engage purposefully in elements that constitute thin and thick strategies of anti-colonial and postcolonial resistance.

Both thin and thick resistance are strategic options for those aiming for the survival and emancipation of Palestinians. What I posit here is the notion of hope in the Palestinian cultural output that I examine, and its importance in determining the strategy of resistance Palestinians undertake. Whilst I have drawn on theoretical and sociological accounts of biopolitics, liminality, and resistance, my dissertation will make a case for the importance of studying biopolitics in the context of literary texts. These have a dual aspect: they represent the specificity of biopolitics in their locally inflected ways. They additionally constitute a non-biopolitical mode of resistance in that they confront the struggles they write of through the imagination. Hope, I will argue, is an imaginative approach, so there is a way in which literature may be aligned with thin resistance. In the postcolonial context, the written or spoken word is often presented as an alternative to violence. Simultaneously, the written or spoken word, for example, when sites of memory and resistance are translated into words have succeeded at mobilising both thin and thick resistance. This suggests that the spoken and written word are not passive but are instigative and mobilising. They become a recourse of resistance.

Item Type: Thesis (Master of Research (MRes))
Thesis advisor: Whittle, Matt
Thesis advisor: Rooney, Caroline
DOI/Identification number: 10.22024/UniKent/01.02.99400
Uncontrolled keywords: Hope, Resistance, Palestine, Israel, Occupation, Postcolonialism, Body-politics, Liminality, thin/ thick resistance.
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General)
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Arts and Humanities > School of English
SWORD Depositor: System Moodle
Depositing User: System Moodle
Date Deposited: 04 Jan 2023 14:10 UTC
Last Modified: 06 Jan 2023 08:25 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

University of Kent Author Information

Abu Jbara, Yazan Hamzeh.

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