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Colonial Encounters Among English and Palestinian Women, 1800-1948 Hardcover – November 4, 2007

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 264 pages
  • Publisher: University Press of Florida; 1st edition (November 4, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 081303163X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0813031637
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.3 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,255,471 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"In this comprehensively researched study, Stockdale weaves a narrative of how British women abetted imperial projects in Palestine in several key historical periods ending with the British withdrawal and the creation of the Israeli state." - Garay Menicucci, University of California, Santa Barbara"

Book Description

"In this comprehensively researched study, Stockdale weaves a narrative of how British women abetted imperial projects in Palestine in several key historical periods ending with the British withdrawal and the creation of the Israeli state."--Garay Menicucci, University of California, Santa Barbara
The setting of Palestine as the "Land of the Bible" made it a geographical space that English people felt they already knew. Using the "knowledge" they brought with them, coupled with the knowledge they collected, they asserted English superiority over Palestinians and their society. Nancy Stockdale shows us that fundamental to this process were English women, who played an active role in the imperial attempt to disseminate English culture and authority in this contested space.
British women travelers and missionaries worked to significantly alter Palestinian women’s lives, while painting a portrait of Palestine as a backward, ignorant place in need of English moral and political leadership.
The Palestinian women who embraced British culture found themselves trapped between their indigenous culture and the culture of the imperial power, never fully accepted into either. This resulted in feelings of disappointment and betrayal, and contributed to the ultimate failure of the English imperial project in Palestine.
By illuminating the manner in which Palestinian women viewed English women--often as exotic as their own image in the minds of the English--Stockdale demonstrates the reflexive nature of the colonial encounter, deflecting and reorienting the imperial gaze.

More About the Author

Nancy L. Stockdale is Associate Professor of Middle Eastern History at the University of North Texas. She received her Ph.D. from the University of California at Santa Barbara, where she specialized in the history of Ottoman- and British Mandate-era Palestinian history, women's lived experiences in the Middle East, and British Imperialism in the Arab world. She is the author of "Colonial Encounters Among English and Palestinian Women, 1800-1948" (University Press of Florida, 2007) and is currently working on a new book about representations of the Middle East in entertainment over the past 150 years. In her spare time, Professor Stockdale enjoys travel, photography, spending time with her dogs, and honing her family's eco/organic lifestyle. She has recently self-published a book of Polaroids entitled "Instant Gratification" at and enjoys life as an academic and artist.

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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful By 566 on August 4, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Dr. Nancy Stockdale provides at times a chilling, but always informative, retelling of how English missionary women assisted in the British imperial project in mandate Palestine. Caught in between the dominant patriarchal middle-class at home and the perceived inferior, exotic female creatures of the Orient supposedly begging for sex emancipation and public incorporation, British missionaries exposed Palestinian girls and women to a particular brand of English Protestantism and female domesticity in order to Anglicize the region from inside the minds of these colonial subjects. Dr. Stockdale brings to the fore these missionaries' religious fantasies and bourgeois aesthetics as imperialist tools, basing her analysis on the theoretical underpinnings of Edward Said's Orientalism, as well as notable feminist studies by Leila Ahmad and Fatima Mernissi. These colonial encounters led in some cases to traumatic confrontations, both within Protestant organizations and between missionaries and their colonial subjects. Dr. Stockdale provides expansive examples from these missionaries own perspectives on the region and its people, juxtaposed with interviews from women who grew up within these imperialist structures and constructs. Special treatment is given to particular, dramatic recounting of maltreated Palestinian orphan girls and their despair. Overall, Stockdale gives a clearly composed and well thought out analysis of a dark chapter in British colonial history in the Middle East.
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