SOAS Research Online

A Free Database of the Latest Research by SOAS Academics and PhD Students

[skip to content]

Kensicki, Anna Evelyn (2021) Jerusalem Narratives: A Phenomenological Analysis of Place in Palestine-Israel. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

[img] Text - Submitted Version
Restricted to Repository staff only until 19 August 2024.


This research explores the production of place in one of the most highly contested cities in the world. Taking Jerusalem as a context, I explore Palestinians’ and Israelis’ constructions of the ancient city from across Palestine-Israel, including Israel, Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza. Through their mapped narratives, I intervene in the literature on place-making and embodiment and explore how parties’ collective and individual memories of Jerusalem coalesce across the contested terrain. This research takes a mixed-methods approach, drawing on textual and phenomenological analysis as well as participatory mapping. Using a map-based survey, I trace the contours of the city—sites of home, sites of worship, borders and border communities, and the imagination—through the narratives of two contested peoples who have been organized into distinct composite communities across the contested territory. Through respondents’ mapped narratives and stories, I intervene in the dialectic between embodiment, movement, rootedness and displacement in the production of place, retheorizing the practice of certain place-based activities, such as Sumud, and the various ways in which embodiment matters to the production of place. With respect to the latter, I develop the theory of imagined embodiment, a unique facet of place-making, which emerged across the Palestinian sample. Jerusalem, together with the wider contested landscape, serves as a living laboratory that provides us with semi-controlled conditions in which we can explore—empirically—how history, belief, storytelling and experience are differentially prioritized in groups’ place-making, which are based on varying levels of access to the ancient, contested city.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses
Supervisors Name: Hagar Kottef
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 15 Nov 2021 15:42

Altmetric Data


Download activity - last 12 monthsShow export options
Downloads since deposit
6 month trend
6 month trend
Accesses by country - last 12 monthsShow export options
Accesses by referrer - last 12 monthsShow export options

Repository staff only

Edit Item Edit Item