Place-Based Poetics: Olive as Palestinian Symbol
Yagmur Akyurek researched the history of the symbolism of the olive in Palestinian poetry, analyzing how Palestinian representations of olives have crystallized throughout time and place. Despite decades of displacement, violence, and settler colonialism, Palestinians worldwide have returned to the olive tree as a longstanding source of collective identity. Olive farming has provided material, spiritual, and artistic benefits for many Palestinian families. Akyurek is interested in the question of how people extract culture from something biological and essential, with the aim of elucidating food’s role as a primary source of the Palestinian narrative poetic tradition and mapping an “olive topography” of Palestinian poetry.