W. Drew Paul
Drew’s research focuses on Palestine and Israel and examines the relationship between spatial practices -- particularly borders, checkpoints, and other spatial restrictions -- and cultural production in the region. Using sources in Arabic and Hebrew, he looks at the ways in which these types of spaces are represented in literature, film, and art, and the insight this provides about political and cultural relations between Palestinians and Israelis and the evolution of these relations over time. He places a particularly strong emphasis on the means by which people transgress, tear down, or circumvent these spatial restrictions through culture and language, which has the potential to reshape our understandings of the issues at hand.
He hopes to shed light on the ways in which authors, filmmakers, and artists have confronted the divisions and restrictions arising from the Palestinian-Israeli question. By doing so, his work suggests the possibility of stepping outside of the absolutist, "all or nothing" lens through which most people understand the conflict. The works he deals with offer new approaches to this issue that have largely gone unnoticed, and he hopes that his research can make a space for alternative ways of framing and discussing this issue.
The Powers Fellowship allows him to focus as much of his energy as possible on his dissertation, which will permit him to complete it on an accelerated timetable, by summer 2013. Furthermore, this fellowship will give him the opportunity to devote time to preparing conference presentations and articles for publication that will help him further his professional goals.