Online Conference, 29 March 2022

14.00-18.30 BST

The British empire governed the newly constituted State of Palestine from the final years of the First World War until its ignominious departure in May 1948. This rule was legally constituted, and superintended, according to the Mandate awarded to Britain by the League of Nations. During these years, the war for the future control of Palestine between Jews and Palestinian Arabs exploded; it culminated in a fight that was won by the new Israeli army in 1948, expulsions of thousands of Palestinian Arabs, massacres, and the absence of a Palestinian State; in 1947, the United Nations General Assembly had voted to establish a Palestinian Arab State alongside a Jewish State.

Why did 1948 witness this outcome for Palestine? Why was the Jewish State established without a Palestinian State alongside it, and why was the Palestinian national movement decimated?

This conference will examine these questions by considering the history of Palestine in the Mandate years, with particular reference to the role of the British empire, and subjects such as:

  • Colonial state violence.
  • The birth and abandonment of the two-state solution.
  • Colonial development and Zionism.
  • The future of the historiography.

The conference is organised by the final year Edge Hill History class, ‘Empire and the War for the Holy Land: British Rule in Palestine, 1923-1948‘, who are taught by Professor James Renton.


14.00 Introduction: Aidan Endacott, Edge Hill University

14.05 Chair: Joshua Coulthard, Edge Hill University

“Is the Notion of ‘Historical Contingency’ Lost on Palestine Studies of pre-1948?”, Dr Moshe Behar, University of Manchester.

15.00 Chair: Chloe Stone, Edge Hill University

‘Electrical Palestine: Colonialism and Technopolitics During the Mandate’, Dr Fredrik Meiton, University of New Hampshire, USA.

16.00 Chair: Ania Wojcik, Edge Hill University.

‘On popular rebellion: four theses on the power and endurance of the Great Revolt,’ Dr Charles Anderson, Western Washington University.

17.00 Chair: Emily Gilman, Edge Hill University.

‘Mapping British Futures in Mandate Palestine’,  Dr Penny Sinanoglou, Wake Forest University.

18.00 Chairs: Sadiya Mansur & Daniela Marquez Mueller

Panel Discussion: What is the Future for the Historiography of Mandate Palestine?

Professor Nazmi al Jubeh, Birzeit University.

Dr Moshe Behar, University of Manchester.

18.30 Blayne Hill, Edge Hill University.

Concluding Remarks.

The conference is aimed at scholars and students of Middle Eastern and colonial history. Register here.

Conference organisation team: Joshua Coulthard (Chair), Aidan Endacott, Emily Gilman, Blayne Hill, Sadiya Mansur, Daniela Marquez Mueller, Chloe Stone, Ania Wojcik.

Communications team: Stephen Abbott and Aaron Powell (Co-Chairs), Luke Blackburn, Joseph Boner, Cade Jackson, Adam Jones, Brandon Hogarth, Geesa Piazza, Jarvis Webber.

Poster designed by Luke Blackburn.