Decolonizing history and depoliticizing territory: Raja Shehadeh’s Palestinian walks: Notes on a vanishing landscape
Publication Type
Original research

Inspired by postcolonial theory, this essay reads Raja Shehadeh’s Palestinian Walks as a critique of nineteenth-century US and European travel writers who recorded their encounters with Arabs living in Palestine, deconstructing the modern–primitive opposition that such writers assumed. Writing an indigenous travel narrative, Shehadeh seeks to write back against colonialist (mis)representations of Palestine and its people and to criticize the orientalist attitudes that preceded it. He disrupts, inverts and challenges those patterns of European and US travel writing. Thus, Shehadeh’s narrative sketches ways of challenging and questioning the assumptions of orientalist narratives that facilitated Israeli settler colonialism and aspires to decolonize Palestinian history and depoliticize the Palestinian landscape. This essay responds to the relative neglect of reading Palestinian literature as one of the postcolonial literatures that function as a counter-narrative to European and US orientalist hegemonic narratives, and not just Zionist colonial narratives.

Ahmad Rasmi Qabaha
Interventions: International Journal of Postcolonial Studies
Publisher Country
United Kingdom
Thomson Reuters
Impact Factor
Publication Type
Both (Printed and Online)