New paper by Dr. Mousa Khoury highlights remarkable change in Palestinian novelists' portrayal of mothers post-Oslo

Dr. Mousa Khoury, an associate professor in the Department of Arabic Language and Literature at Birzeit University, has recently published a study on the transformations of the representation of mothers in Palestinian novels after the signing of the Oslo Accords. 

The study, entitled “The Representation of the Mother in the Palestinian Novel: From McDonaldization to Minor Literature” and published in the Arab Journal for the Humanities, investigates the effects of the pair of treaties on revolutionary rhetoric by tracing the differences in Palestinian novels pre- and post-Oslo. 

In his paper, Khoury draws on the work of George Ritzer in his 1993 book “The McDonaldization of Society,” in which he argues that society as a whole has moved to a more standardized, quantifiable, predictable, and controlled way of living and thinking. 

Using these concepts, Khoury probed changes to Palestinian novels, particularly the representation of mothers, published before and after the Oslo Accords, and noted that, generally, representations of mothers became more original and creative, breaking free of decades of conventional and formulaic portrayals of the motherly figure. 

The study, Khoury notes, opens pathways to investigating changes in the portrayal of mothers in Palestinian novels in general and provides a preliminary framework for researchers looking to analyze how folkloric representations in Palestine have changed after the Oslo Accords. 

Khoury's paper constitutes the latest effort by the university's faculty members to highlight, celebrate, and critique Palestinian and Arab literary pieces and achievements. To read more about Birzeit University's research efforts in this area and beyond, follow this link.