This event will present the digital research project PalREAD - Country of Words, led by Refqa Abu-Remaileh, which tells the story of Palestinian literature by tracing, collecting, mapping and analyzing the development and evolution of Palestinian literary and cultural production and practices from 1948 to the present across various Arab, European, American, and Latin American countries.
With massive numbers of the world’s population living as refugees and exiles, the literary production of displaced peoples poses serious questions and challenges to conventional and established methods of literary analysis. This is the context in which PalREAD is working to develop a comprehensive model for the study of Palestinian literature as an early and on-going case of literary displacement. To do so, PalREAD is seeking new ways to account for and analyze texts, literary production, reception and reading practices that challenge and lie outside the framework of the nation-state. In tracing the story of Palestinian literary production across different countries and continents, PalREAD adopts a transnational perspective combined with a holistic methodology that can view and understand literature in its widest components.
As Principal Investigator of PalREAD, Refqa Abu-Remaileh has drawn from her expertise in modern Arabic literature, Palestinian literature as well as Arab cinema to shape the project as it is now. She has been Professor for Modern Arabic Literature & Film at the Seminar für Semitistik und Arabistik at Freie Universtät Berlin since 2018.