Educators in Iraq, Jordan and Palestine: the Formation of State and Subject 1917-1958
Hilary Kalisman

About the research


NAEd/Spencer Dissertation Fellowship

Award Year



University of California, Berkeley

Primary Discipline

My project offers a new account of education and political culture by examining school teachers and administrators employed by the British Mandates for Iraq, Palestine and Transjordan throughout the seminal period of state creation in the Middle East, 1917-1958. Using oral histories, social history and discursive analysis, my project highlights the connections between Mandate-era schooling and the networks of education and knowledge begun during the Ottoman period. This project also explores the wide variety of ideologies educators believed in, as well as how teachers and those they taught sought to change the nature of the state from within and below, more frequently through negotiation, bargaining, petitions and protests rather than coups or armed rebellion. By focusing on state-sponsored education, specifically those individuals who designed and implemented its policies, my dissertation investigates the juxtaposition between prescriptions for ideal societies and citizens expressed in educational policies as well as the mundane concerns of their execution. Located at the front lines of the transition from empire to nation, government-employed educators provide a unique perspective into the consequences of education in the Middle East and how identity and affiliation become resonant in a colonial framework.
About Hilary Kalisman

Pin It on Pinterest