Cover of Country of Words by Refqa Abu-Remaileh
Country of Words
Refqa Abu-Remaileh


Available in October

ISBN: 9781503637306

Excerpts and More

Country of Words: A Transnational Atlas for Palestinian Literature is a digital-born project that seeks to retrace and remap the global story of Palestinian literature in the twentieth century, starting from the Arab world, and going through Europe, North America, and Latin America.Sitting at the intersection of literary history, periodical studies, and digital humanities, Country of Words creates a networked meeting place for the data and narrative fragments of a literature-in-motion, bringing together porous, interrupted, disconnected, and discontinuous fragments into an elastic, open-ended literary history.

The story of Palestinian literature resembles the story of its people: an entire nation-in-exile scattered and fragmented across countries and continents. However, the logic of the nation-state still looms large over literary studies despite an unprecedented number of the world's population living as refugees, exiles, or stateless people. As a case study, Palestinian literary history allows us the possibility to "read together" national and exilic, encouraging a transnational comparative perspective. It also gives us the opportunity to think of new ways to write nonlinear nonconventional literary histories of displacement and movement, exposing new constellations, networks, trajectories, relationships, and collaborations; working across multiple literary geographies, and revealing just how multilayered these literary histories can be.

About the author

Refqa Abu-Remaileh is Professor of Modern Arabic Literature and Film at the Freie Universität Berlin.

"A major contribution to digital humanities, diaspora studies, and postcolonial scholarship alike, Refqa Abu-Remaileh's Country of Words skillfully blends multiple forms of media to reveal the vast scope of Palestinian literature. Country of Words not only powerfully showcases the value of digital humanities methods for studying literatures of the Global South but also opens up the world of Palestinian literature to audiences in the academy and beyond."

—Roopika Risam, Dartmouth

"A literary cartography of Palestine that is unlike any other: transnational, exilic, prolific, and full of abundance. Both grounded and transnational, both archival and ethnographic, this project will live on for generations as a methodological model, as a home in the throes of dispossession, and as an invitation for a different kind of future."

—Sherene Seikaly, UC Santa Barbara

"Visionary and transformative! With its rich use of primary sources, archival photographs, data visualizations, and audio interviews, Country of Words serves as an invaluable resource and an innovative model for the future of literary pasts."

—Michael Allan, University of Oregon

"With its user-friendly interface, well-suited and attractive visualizations, intelligent analysis, and fascinating author interviews,Country of Words is an invaluable resource that documents and engages the diversity of Palestinian literary production over time, expanding access to it in an inviting digital format."

—Michelle Hartman, McGill