Making History, Remaking Place: Archives, Exhibitions, and Historical Geographies in Saudi Arabia


Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships




This project is both a historical study of how requirements of oil development shaped the production of the Saudi state form and its physical geography, and an anthropological account of how the Saudi modern has been imagined and reproduced through material practices: from acts of political commemoration and transformations in cultural landscapes to the production of exhibitions and the national archive. Explaining the contradictions that animate these practices elucidates the conjuncture of forces that produced a distinctive Saudi petro-modernity, one that brings together religious lineage with Al Saud’s dynastic rule. It also allows us to gauge how this petro-modernity has effected broad-ranging transformations of self, sociality, and material infrastructure of everyday life.