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.[citation needed]. She conducts research about the Middle East, 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 said 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, and 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.
  • Postcolonial Theory and the Arab-Israeli Conflict. Edited with Philip Carl Salzman Routledge, 2008.
  • Exiled in the Homeland, University of Texas Press, 2010.

Fellowships, Grants, Awards[edit]


  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2008-04-03. Retrieved 2008-03-07.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ [1]
  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]