European Cultural Diplomacy and Arab Christians in Palestine (1918-1948) (Palgrave Macmillan, 2020) investigates the transnationally connected history of Arab Christian communities in Palestine during the British Mandate (1918-1948) through the lens of the birth of cultural diplomacy. Relying predominantly on unpublished sources, it examines the relationship between European cultural agendas and local identity formation processes and discusses the social and religious transformations of Arab Christian communities in Palestine via cultural lenses from an entangled perspective.
The 17 chapters reflect diverse research interests, from case studies of individual archives to chapters that question the concept of cultural diplomacy more generally. They illustrate the diversity of scholarship that enables a broad-based view of how cultura l diplomacy functioned during the interwar period, but also the ways in which its meanings have changed. The book considers British Mandate Palestine as an internationalized node within a transnational framework to understand how the complexity of cultural interactions and agencies engaged to produce new modes of modernity. With the editors, Karene Sanches Summerer and Sary Zananiri, we discussed the term cultural diplomacy and its varied definition by the contributors of this volume. The book, divided in three parts, looks at various forms of cultural diplomacy, its indigenization, cultural diplomacy as an hegemonic force and lastly a number of scholars discussed a variety of examples of cultural diplomacy as intended by European countries.
Roberto Mazza is visiting professor at Northwestern University. He is the host of the Jerusalem Unplugged Podcast and to discuss and propose a book for interview can be reached at [email protected]
Twitter and IG: @robbyref
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