Adjuncting at Al Quds

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 –

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.

5 thoughts on “Adjuncting at Al Quds

  1. But it’ll be less fun for the rest of us if you do.

    Then again, given the circumstances, too much trouble for you wouldn’t be any fun for the rest of us at all. Even so, I’m looking forward to reading about your experience, and I’m a bit envious of your future students; I can think of many worse ways to spend a summer than talking to you about Plato, Aristotle, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Mill, and Marx.


    • Thanks. As for trouble, what could possibly go wrong? It’s just a quiet adjuncting gig on the Mediterranean. I’m not the political type, anyway.

      In a sense, you will be talking to me about Plato etc. since I’ll be blogging live from Abu Dis as often as I can. Best of all, we won’t need a translator, unless my interpretations get really crazy. In all seriousness, I’m particularly looking forward to blogging about Locke on property. Last time I was there, I gave a lecture on Locke and was surprised at the degree of hostility for him. I’m hoping to re-think Locke, especially the Lockean Proviso (“enough and as good”), in that environment.


  2. Pingback: Beyond Chutzpah: Chase, Israel, Palestine, and OFAC | Policy of Truth

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