chapter  1
Empire Land Commodification and the Backlash of Nationalism
Pages 24

This book is about the history of nationalism in Israel-Palestine, presented as a history of national housing, and like most attempts to study ‘the history of ’ conflicted presents it starts at ‘the beginning’. The beginning in question has been greatly debated, since identifying a starting point is a strong historiographic act, framing research questions and identifying objects of inquiry. Yet my purpose here is not to intervene in the historiography of Israel-Palestine by challenging periodization and starting points (while my project does that). Instead, I am interested in how a focus on housing as object of inquiry shifts our perception of history. What can an architectural history focusing on national housing tell us about Israel-Palestine history?