History: A group of scholars founded PARC in 1998 to provide an American institution to promote academic researchon Palestine and assist in disseminating those research findings. Before PARC’s founding, U.S. researchers in Palestine did not have the benefit of assistance from an on-the-ground American overseas research center, and U.S. scholars of Palestine lacked an institutional infrastructure to provide research funding, logistical support, and access to Palestinian resources. Moreover, the U.S. academic environment was often not conducive to growth for researchersworking on Palestine, where very few scholars had received research funding. There was also a pressing need toencourage and enable young scholars to enter the field.
In Palestine, Palestinian scholars had far fewer resources at home and less access to opportunities abroad. Palestinian scholars endured a critical lack of resources, funding, and encouragement for research, as well as a need for institutional infrastructure to help support and disseminate research.
Mission: In response to these needs, PARC developed its mission to promote and facilitate scholarly research on Palestine, build a broader and deeper knowledge base of scholarship on Palestine, initiate and encourage exchange between U.S. and Palestinian scholars and institutions, and widely disseminate scholarly research on Palestine. PARC has grown from seven fellows in our first cohort in 2000 to 20 American and Palestinian fellows in our 2022cohort of fellows.
Goals: PARC’s specific goals include:
- Increase the range, quantity, and quality of scholarship about Palestinian affairs by providing funding for research fellowships and a field research base in Palestine for advanced graduate students and established scholars. PARC fellowships also encourage new generations of scholars to pursue work on Palestine.
- Enhance scholars’ abilities to conduct research in Palestine by operating an office in Ramallah that provides a home base and support services to U.S., Palestinian, and international scholars, helping them work effectively in an often-complex research environment and facilitating access to Palestinian researchers, archives, and institutions.
- Disseminate research on Palestine via PARC-sponsored and co-sponsored talks, seminars, panels, and conferences both in the United States and Palestine. These opportunities allow U.S. and Palestinian scholars to discuss together critical issues relating to current research.
- Expand teaching about Palestine on U.S. campuses by providing not only research fellowships for U.S. scholars, but also travel fellowships for PARC’s two-week, intensive faculty seminars on Palestine. These travel fellowships introduce Palestine to U.S. professors who are not experts on Palestine and thus assist in increasing teaching about Palestine on U.S. campuses.
- Strengthen linkages for Palestinian scholars and educational, cultural, and research institutions via both our research fellows, who have a service component to all PARC fellowships, as well as our travel fellows, who are expected to employ their expertise and access to assist with resource and institutional development in Palestine.
- Develop resources to facilitate research and provide information on current research on Palestine. PARC’s website includes a host of resources on Palestine as well as research topics of all PARC fellows. PARC sends regular emails to our subscriber list presenting current PARC alumni fellow publications as well as current events on Palestine. PARC newsletters describe PARC fellows’ research in greater detail, while PARC’s office in Ramallah contains a library, shared with the Institute for Palestine Studies, of materials largely related to Palestinian social and cultural history.