FRIAS Fellow Lorenzo Kamel winner of this year’s Palestine Book Award
The Palestine Book Awards began in 2012 in an attempt to honour and recognise the best authored works in English on the subject of Palestine. Nominations start in January with submissions being made by national and international publishers. Seven books are then shortlisted by an expert panel of judges from three categories: academic, memoir and creative. With literature on Palestine on the rise, events such as the Palestine Book Awards help to introduce a more diverse readership and acknowledgement of necessary works.
Lorenzo Kamel’s book “Imperial Perceptions of Palestine” focuses on the way Palestine has been viewed by imperial powers, especially European powers during the decline of the Ottoman Empire, offering insights into the process through which this region of different races, cultures and societies has historically been simplified. For example, he traces the concept of ‘biblical orientalism’, which spurred evangelical tourism to the region in the late 19th and early 20th century and described the region as an imaginary Palestine based on the bible, to show how these concepts have shaped perceptions of Palestine up until today. In this way, Lorenzo Kamel offers an alternative to the mainstream discourse on Palestine and Israel, helping to better understand the seemingly intractable conflict in the region.
Lorenzo Kamel is a Marie S. Curie Fellow at FRIAS since September 2016 and a Senior Fellow at the Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI) in Rome, Italy. He is also a non-resident Research Fellow at Harvard’s Center for Middle Eastern Studies (CMES), where he served as a postdoc fellow for two years, and the scientific coordinator of the research project “New-Med, The Future of Cooperation in the Mediterranean”, funded by the Compagnia di San Paolo, OSCE, The German Marshall Fund of the United States, and the Italian Foreign Ministry. He has published six books on Middle Eastern and Mediterranean affairs and over 150 articles in international academic journals and newspapers.
The fifth annual Palestine Book Awards celebrated this year's publications on Palestine in London on November 18, 2016. Leading figures from the political, academic and literary communities joined in the celebration and unveiling of the winners of the 2016 Palestine Book Awards.