I absolutely love playaling.com. Not least because the guy who built it is a really nice dude. He slept on my couch once. And the point of this piece is not merely to brag about how I personally used to own a couch.
Playaling looks and feels a bit like youtube if it were to rebrand itself as a colloquial Arabic language learning website. The homepage is rows of cards. Each card includes a thumbnail image, title, dialect and difficulty level. …
In April 2020, I uploaded a video to youtube called “An 18th century Palestinian Diary Stolen by Israel.”
The video was about an 18th century manuscript from Ramla, Palestine. I partially transcribed the manuscript, and wanted to share it with the world so someone might finish it. An open source history project!
The video got some views. Some people liked it. But I still thought the manuscript was a diary.
Then, earlier this week (January 2021), Academia.edu rolled a new feature — video uploads. You can upload a video to your Academia.edu profile. (Disclosure: I work at Academia.edu).
Some of the earliest Arabic printed maps of Palestine were actually maps of “Israel.”
Let’s start with a series of maps that appeared in “An Atlas of the Bible,” (Atlas al-Kitab al-Muqaddas), published by one of Europe’s most important 19th century map publishers, W. & A.K. Johnston, based in London and Edinburgh. Have a look at the following map, titled “The Two Kingdoms of Judah and Israel”:
History is, how do I say this academically, weird!
Ancient history had not yet been hijacked by propagandists. The Biblical history of the ancient Israelites was as much a part of Christian and…
The 100,000 word Ph.D Dissertation should be abolished.
Here’s the case for it.
In 2017, I contacted a director at the National Endowment for the Humanities, about The Public Scholar Award. The award funds researchers trying to reach broader audiences, but disqualifies people trying to turn their Ph.D dissertations into popular books.
I told the director that my project included “some material from my dissertation — the parts that have broad appeal — although most of the project was not based on my dissertation.” Would that disqualify me?
“In my experience,” the director replied, “it is very rare that portions…
Previously, I wrote about the first three Palestinians in modern history: Khalil Baydas, Najib Nassar and Salim Qub’ayn, whose writings date to 1898, 1901 and 1901, respectively. This post is about the 4th, 5th and 6th, 7th and 8th Palestinians, whose writings date to 1909–1914.
I know it’s a bit weird to think of the Palestinians lined up in order of their appearance in the historical record, but I think methodical (if boring) fact-establishing is necessary to help undue decades of ill-informed propaganda about the origins of the modern Palestinian people.
To clarify one point — when I say “first”…
The first Arab to use the term “Palestinian” in modern history was Khalil Baydas.
In 1898, he translated “A Description of the Holy Land” from Russian to Arabic.
“The Arabic geography books on the topic were insufficient,” Baydas wrote in the introduction to the translation. “The people of Palestine needed a geography book about their country.”
The book mentions the “Palestinians” in multiple places [see my ph.d dissertation, p.155–158 here for more details].
We of course don’t know if Baydas called himself or anyone else “Palestinian.” …
”lmao reading your dissertation acknowledgments” — someone on the internet.
“I also read your preface to your Ph.D. thesis (on academia.edu) which was hilarious” — someone else on the internet.
I owe the most thanks to my advisor, Cyrus Schayegh. He always advised me to think bigger. Based on the scope of this dissertation, he might now be regretting that advice. I would also like to thank my committee members, Michael Cook, Johnathan Gribetz and Zayde Antrim. This dissertation would not have been awarded had you not willingly subjected yourselves to a summer of tortuous misery. Bill Petrich provided wonderful…
Every day I stare at a nylon cell phone wallet taped to my desk bearing the words, “Princeton University alumni.” And that’s because I love staring at nylon. Most people like petting it. Nah. Staring is way more fun. It’s the gift Princeton gave me for finishing my Ph.D. That and a picture frame.
My Ph.D candidacy turned out to be a minor train wreck for the Near Eastern Studies Department. My initial dissertation prospectus was rejected. My advisor left the department for Europe. I chose a new topic. My committee was hastily put together a few months before I…
I had a few misconceptions about archival research when I first got into history nine years ago. I figured I would find all the forgotten documents buried in exotic archives, write about them and get famous. I’ve since learned that no one gets famous doing archival research. I’ve also learned that archival research involved lots of dust.
“One gets the feeling that a particular manuscript collection has been moldering in the dust of centuries until saved from oblivion by your call slip.”
This is what “top young historian,” Joanne Freeman, 43, told the History News Network. …