Nasser Abourahme

2018-19 Princeton-Mellon / Humanities Council Fellow

Nasser Abourahme works between urban geography, political theory and postcolonial studies. His current work focuses on issues of borders and encampment and is premised on the conviction that the border crisis calls for bringing urban studies and global literature deeper into conversation in ways that might better register the lived stakes of contemporary regimes of movement. Abourahme’s dissertation, “Forms of the Concrete: The camp, the colony, Palestine,” is a material-architectural history of the Palestinian refugee camp. To read Palestine-Israel, it argues, one must read the camp. Working with a range of textual and visual documents (from bureaucratic reports to prose fiction and architectural drawings) drawn from four different archives - the papers of a former director of the Tennessee Valley Authority, the archives of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, the journals and novels of the Palestinian Revolution, the Israeli State Archives - Abourahme contends that in the Palestinian camps lies a powerful insight into how the colonial encounter here has always revolved around the material-affective politics of the home.
Abourahme is the Special Features Editor at the urban studies journal, CITY, and has published widely in journals including IJURRCITY, and Public Culture. At Princeton, Abourahme will extend his research on the interface between architectural and literary forms and will teach Camp/Prison/Border (URB 311/HUM 310/COM 371) in Fall 2018, a seminar that approaches the “border crisis” through readings in political theory, history, and global literature.
Abourahme is co-appointed with the Humanities Council, whose support made this fellowship possible.