I’m happy to report that I’ve just accepted an offer do some adjunct teaching this summer for the Philosophy Dept at Al Quds University in the West Bank town of Abu Dis (in Area B, under joint Palestinian-Israeli control). I’m a big fan of Al Quds, and of the Philosophy Dept there. This will be a return trip for me, and I’m very glad for the opportunity to go back.
Photo credit: “Mur abou dis”. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Mur_abou_dis.jpg#/media/File:Mur_abou_dis.jpg
I’ll be teaching a single section of political philosophy–Plato, Aristotle, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Mill, and Marx–to about fifteen Palestinian undergraduates. I’ll be teaching in English, the students will be reading in Arabic, and a translator will be there to translate our conversations to one another. I gave three lectures at Al Quds back in 2013 under a similar arrangement, and it was one of the most challenging-rewarding experiences I’ve ever had. Believe it or not, there’s already a literature on experiences of this sort, so I guess I’ll be taking my copy of Carlos Fraenkel’s Teaching Plato in Palestine for guidance, and comparing notes with him. (The last time I was in Palestine, I vividly remember thinking that Plato in particular seemed intensely relevant to the place.)
I’m looking forward to blogging this summer for PoT from Abu Dis and from the West Bank (and Israel) generally. I’m hoping to do some “political sightseeing” throughout the West Bank and Israel, and would be grateful for any questions PoT readers have about local conditions that help me frame the sightseeing and blogging I do.
By sheer coincidence, I’m also looking forward to connecting with a Felician student of mine, Hilwa Abdallah, whose family is from Ramallah and who will be there when I am. I understand that I’m invited to dinner, and I intend to eat without takallaf. How I manage to navigate Ramadan in the West Bank remains to be seen.