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Resistance History and Liberatory Pedagogy: Crusader States and Crusade Historiography in Occupied Palestine
This paper is meant to be part of Dr. Rabab Abdulhadi's panel submission, Teaching Palestine. History can be a resource in struggles for liberation when approached through a pedagogy for the oppressed. This paper aims to explore Crusader era history of Palestine, 1099-1291 CE through the prism of the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem as a settler colonial enterprise and resistance to it. It will examine episodes contained in both Latin and Arabic chronicles of the period that recount forms of local resistance to Frankish rule. One example is resistance in Nablus to the ban on Friday congregational prayers that led to Hanbali `ulama retreating to villages in the outskirts of the city for clandestine sermons and organizing appeals for aid in Damascus. The paper will also examine dominant narratives in Western academic scholarship, particularly Israeli crusade historians, to identify ways in which counter-histories can and could be developed as a resource intellectually against a settler colonial historiography. It will begin with a record of a debate in the 1960’s about whether the Latin Kingdoms of Jerusalem were comparable to colonialism, discussions in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s about “rethinking the crusades” against identifying them as a form of colonialism, and contemporary scholarship on popular Muslim reactions to the Franks in the Levant.
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