Palestine: The History of a Name | Zachary J. Foster

68. Filistin

Conventional wisdom on the history of nationalism tells us that nations are of recent construction, and this has often been the case within the historiography of the modern Middle East. With the example of Palestine, some have denied the significance of such a name or notion before the nineteenth century. Yet, sources from throughout the Ottoman period are full of references to a place called Palestine (Filistin). In this episode, Zach Foster explores the continuity of Palestine as a geographical construct throughout the Ottoman period and the changes in the significance and limits of this territorial designation.

Zachary J. Foster is a Ph.D student in the Near East Studies Department at Princeton University, focusing on the modern Middle East
Chris Gratien is a PhD candidate studying the history of the modern Middle East at Georgetown University (see

Citation: "Ottoman Palestine: The History of a Name." Zachary J. Foster and Chris Gratien. Ottoman History Podcast, No. 68 (September 6, 2012)

Select Bibliography

Doumani, Beshara, “Rediscovering Ottoman Palestine: Writing Palestinians into History.” Journal of Palestine Studies 21(2) (1992): 5-28

Doumani, Beshara, Rediscovering Palestine: Merchants and Peasants in Jabal Nablus, 1700-1900 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1995)

Gerber, Haim, “‘Palestine’ and Other Territorial Concepts in the 17th Century.” International Journal of Middle East Studies 30 (1998): 563-572

Gerber, Haim, Remembering and Imagining Palestine: Identity and Nationalism from the Crusaders to the Present (New York, Palgrave Macmillan, 2008)

Khalidi, Rashid, Palestinian Identity: The Construction of Modern National Consciousness (New York: Columbia University Press, 1997)

 Lewis, Bernard, “Palestine: On the History and Geography of a Name,” International History Review 2 (1980): 1-12

Porath, Yehoshua, “The Political Awakening of the Palestinian Arabs and their Leadership Towards the End of the Ottoman Period,” in Studies on Palestine During the Ottoman Period, Moshe Ma‘oz (ed.) (Jerusalem: The Magness, Press, 1986), 351-381.

Music: Rim Banna - Lah al-Qamar (لاح القمر)