Home in exile: Palestinianness as moral subjunctive destination

Leonardo Schiocchet


This article explores the polyvocal and inherently contested arena of Palestinianness as a moral place of belonging, for which I suggest the term “home” as an anthropological category denoting affective places of belonging for a given social group. This minimalistic definition is intended as a heuristic site from which to explore modes of inhabiting a moral destination. The ways in which Palestinianness is conceived and negotiated among refugees and other Palestinian communities living outside of today’s Palestinian territories are thus understood as processes of home-making. In this respect, the article considers the definition of a “homeland” in relation to Palestinian experiences and expressions of displacement and discusses to what extent the terms diaspora and exile characterize the Palestinian dispersion. It suggests that these experiences and expressions highlight the importance of affect and problematize a fitting subjunctive definition of home as an anthropological category.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.1086/729840