Graduation Year


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Second Department

Middle East Studies

Reader 1

Michelle Decker

Reader 2

Lara Deeb

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Rights Information

2021 Sabreen E Rashmawi


While there are many stories that predate the mass expulsion of Palestinians from historic Palestine in 1948 and the establishment of the state of Israel, the Nakba has served as a focal point in Palestinian literature over the last 72 years. In recent years, Palestinian science fiction has emerged part of this shift. The genre pulls from multiple literary traditions and engages with the complex history of Palestine, Arabic literature, and the genre of science fiction itself. Published 2019, the short story anthology Palestine + 100 contains twelve short stories speculating on what Palestine might look like 100 years after the Nakba and is considered the first anthology of its kind. “Song of the Birds” by Saleem Haddad depicts a world only 29 years in the future when Palestinian collective memory can be weaponized by the Israeli government to manipulate the boundaries of reality. Distinctly, published in Arabic in 2014 and translated in to English 2019, Ibtisam Azem’s novel سفر الاختفاء (The Book of Disappearance) depicts a world where Palestinians literally disappear from historic Palestine on an unspecified date leaving the people left behind struggling to understand what happened. This thesis will argue that the technologies of science and speculative fiction allow for a literal manifestation of the themes of memory, nostalgia, and resistance. Rather than proposing an escapist future, the tangible objects and experiences within these seemingly fantastical narratives address contemporary concerns around memory and resistance in Palestine.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.