Artefacts of Emergency Law, Gender and Anti-Colonial Resistance in Mandatory Palestine

  • Paola Zichi SOAS, University of London
Keywords: Hilda Wilson, Palestine, Mandate, Great Arab Revolt, legal history, gender, race, feminist methods, post-colonial history


The article focuses on the account given by Hilda Wilson, during a year spent as an English schoolteacher in Palestine, of the emergency regulations adopted by the British authorities to quell the Great Arab Revolt which unfolded in the years 1936-1939. The article attempts to offer a more detailed inquiry into the real-life experience of women in order to give a more contextual, complex and relational account of the life of law in the Mandatory ‘peripheries’ during an anti-colonial uprising. Wilson’s account and her relationship with the indigenous anti-colonial revolt is investigated through a feminist and post-colonial legal approach which aims to re-write legal histories from below. As part of a broader critical legal approach to the history of law, this article aims to intervene in the discussion on methods and methodology in the writing of legal histories. In terms of methods, the paper relies on primary materials such as diaries and material objects as the primary tools for legal research. In terms of methodology, it applies interdisciplinary insights to the understanding of legal order/disorder and to the construction of hybrid legal subjectivities. In this sense, the article contributes to feminist perspectives on international law, focusing on the intersections between gender, race and law in order to give a different account of the space for women’s self-determination in Mandatory Palestine.

Author Biography

Paola Zichi, SOAS, University of London
Paola Zichi is a PhD candidate in the Centre for Gender Studies, and affiliated with the Centre for the Study of Colonialism, Empire and International Law, at SOAS, University of London, UK.
How to Cite
ZichiP. (2019). Artefacts of Emergency Law, Gender and Anti-Colonial Resistance in Mandatory Palestine. feminists@law, 9(1).