Launched in 2010, the Center for Palestine Studies (CPS) is the first such center to be established in an academic institution in the United States. The Center serves as an institutional home at Columbia for faculty, post-doctoral researchers, and students working on Palestine and Palestinian studies, and supports research, teaching, and intellectual collaboration among scholars within Columbia University and beyond. Within Columbia University, the Center for Palestine Studies has fostered affiliations with a unique group of distinguished scholars working on Palestine and Palestinians, as well as with award-winning supporting faculty in a variety of disciplines.
The Center strives to foster relationships with scholars and institutions in the United States and around the world, as well as to enhance the curriculum, library, and faculty resources at Columbia, in the interest of promoting the academic study of Palestine and Palestinians worldwide.
In this mission, a principle mandate of the Center for Palestine Studies is to promote scholarship and facilitate exchanges with scholars, students, and academic institutions in the West Bank and Gaza, as well as among refugees and others in the Palestinian diaspora. Understanding that students and academics in the Occupied Territories labor under numerous and onerous constraints, the Center is committed to supporting and defending the academic freedom of Palestinian students, faculty and institutions, as well as the academic freedom of scholars across disciplines and around the world who are committed to the study of Palestine and Palestinians.
The creation of the Center for Palestine Studies honors the specific scholarly legacy of Professor Edward Said at the university where he taught for forty years. Through his extensive writings, Said developed a critical dialogue about Palestine in the United States, doing so from his academic base at Columbia. Edward Said's legacy continues to draw prominent scholars of Palestine to Columbia University, which annually holds the prestigious Said Lectures and maintains the personal books and papers of Edward Said under the auspices of the Columbia University Libraries.