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Chronic Trauma, (Post) Colonial Chronotopes And Palestinian Lives: Omar Robert Hamilton's Though I Know the River is Dry/Ma'a Anni A'rif Anna al-Nahr Qad Jaf

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Abstract

International recognition of Palestinian trauma, including the foundational trauma of al-nakba (‘the catastrophe’) of 1948, is the cornerstone of the collective Palestinian struggle for self-determination. Hegemonic Israeli versions of history, however, continue to obstruct Palestinian counter-representational efforts to make their trauma visible. This is not only about who has the loudest voice; that is to say, the most powerful (political and economic) backing. Nor is the problem confined to the progressive disappearance of Palestinian land or viable habitus, producing a near impossible present and future. The close fit that has obtained between trauma studies and recuperated Holocaust histories, and the use of trauma discourse to sediment Israeli self-definition, have deferred acknowledgement of Palestinian trauma as a political and ethical imperative.