Donna Robinson Divine

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Donna Robinson Divine (born 1941) is Morningstar Family Professor in Jewish Studies and Professor of Government at Smith College. She holds a B.A. from Brandeis University, 1963, and a Ph.D. from Columbia University, 1971, in Political Science. Divine is interested in Comparative Politics, Middle East Politics, and Political Theory.[1]

Divine is fluent in three of the major languages of the Middle East, Arabic, Hebrew, and Turkish, this enables her to conduct research across the region, studying both historical developments and contemporary trends.

She has written on Zionist immigration to Palestine during the British Mandate, analyzing how exile functioned as a contrast to the society created in Palestine during the period of British rule.[2]

According to Efraim Karsh Divine sees many common links between Zionist state building and the situation facing the Palestinians, comparing the roles of the Histadrut in Israel with that of Hamas and other voluntary bodies in the Palestinian "entity." She asserts that the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza "have created a more vibrant civil society than at any other time in their history." [3]

Divine believes that with their attention directed to explaining the loss of a Palestinian state in 1948, scholars have failed to appreciate Palestine’s nineteenth century history as a period of significant development.[4]

Divine is a committed feminist, she has criticized those who perceive the social activities of women’s colleges but fail to perceive that “As important as social activities may be, we have no mission but that of promoting scholarship.” [5]


  • Women Living Change: Cross-Cultural Perspectives. Essays from the Smith College Research Project on Women and Social Change. Edited with Susan C. Bourque. Temple University Press, 1985.
  • Politics and Society in Ottoman Palestine: The Arab Struggle for Survival and Power. Lynne Rienner, 1994.
  • Exiled in the Homeland, University of Texas Press, 2010.

Fellowships, Grants, Awards[edit]

Organizing Fellow, Kahn Institute for the Liberal Arts 2005-2006[citation needed] Academic Fellow, Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, 2003-2004[citation needed] Smith College Grant for Curriculum Development: Multicultural Curriculum Development[citation needed] Jean Picker Fellowship, 1982–1985[citation needed] Andrew Mellon Foundation Grants 1978–1980, 1981–1984. Principal Investigator, Smith Research Project on Women and Social Change[citation needed] National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship for Senior Scholars, 1982–1983[citation needed] Social Science Research Council Grants, 1978–1979; 1982–1983[citation needed] Department of State Middle East Scholar in Residence, January 1978[citation needed] American Association of University Women Fellowship, 1976–1977[citation needed] Smith College Grants[citation needed] Israel Government Award, 1967–1968[citation needed] Fulbright-Hayes Fellowship, 1967–1968[citation needed] National Defense Foreign Language Fellowships, 1963–1967[citation needed] Columbia University Grant, 1966–1967[citation needed] Columbia University Presidential Fellow, 1965–1966[citation needed] New York State Regents Fellowship for College Teachers, 1964–1965[citation needed] Columbia University Middle East Scholar, 1964–1965[citation needed] Woodrow Wilson National Fellow, 1963–1964[citation needed] Phi Beta Kappa, 1962[citation needed]


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ [2]
  3. ^ Project MUSE
  4. ^ Dowty, Alan, Israel/Palestine, Polity Pub. , 2005, p. 58.
  5. ^ The Women's Movement and the Politics of Change at a Women's College, by David A. Greene , 2004, p. 132.

External links[edit]