- Arab states of the Persian Gulf
- Modern Middle East
- Urban history
- Colonialism and post-colonialism
- Office: Bldg. 47, Rm. 27G
- Phone: (805) 756-2839
- E-mail: email@example.com
- School of Oriental and African Studies (University of London), PhD
- School of Oriental and African Studies (University of London), MA
- The George Washington University, BA in History and Journalism
Research and Teaching Interests
My research specializes on the Arab states of the Persian Gulf region, and most specifically on Kuwait. My book Kuwait Transformed: A History of Oil and Urban Life (Stanford University Press, 2016) analyzes the intricate relationship between the urban landscape, the patterns and practices of everyday life, and social behaviors and relations in Kuwait, and traces the historical transformation of these three interrelated realms in the shift from the pre-oil to oil eras. My current research builds off my previous work on the city and analyzes historical memory and forgetting in Kuwait in relation both to the advent of modernity in the 1950s and to the 1990-91 Iraqi invasion and occupation of Kuwait. I am also currently working on an extended research project on the invasion, using oral history interviews and under-utilized archival material to analyze various aspects of the occupation that have yet to be thoroughly addressed in scholarly research. Two main topics I am focusing on include the role of the local resistance in protecting Western civilians in hiding and the burning and extinguishing of 650 of Kuwait’s oil wells after the country’s liberation.
- Kuwait Transformed: A History of Oil and Urban Life (Stanford University Press, 2016).
Reviews of Kuwait Transformed:
- “Legitimizing the Illegitimate: A Case for Kuwait’s Forgotten Modernity,” Traditional Dwellings and Settlements Review 29, 2 (2018): 7-22.
- “Public Space and Public Protest in Kuwait, 1938-2012,” City 18, 6 (2014): 723-734.
- “Towards an Urban Alternative for Kuwait: Protests and Popular Participation,” Built Environment 40, 1 (2014): 101-117.
- “Revisiting Hadar and Badu in Kuwait: Citizenship, Housing, and the Construction of a Dichotomy,” International Journal of Middle East Studies 46 (2014): 5-30.
- “Kuwait’s Modern Spectacle: Oil Wealth and the Making of a New Capital City, 1950-1990,” Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa, and the Middle East 33, 1 (2013): 7-25.
- “The Lost ‘Two-Thirds’: Kuwait’s Territorial Decline Between 1913 and 1922,” Journal of Arabian Studies 2, 1 (2012): 19-37.
- “Inside a Gulf Port: The Dynamics of Urban Life in Pre-Oil Kuwait Town,” in The Persian Gulf in Modern Times, edited by Lawrence G. Potter (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014).
- “Social Difference/Spatial Distance: Urban Development, the Bidoon, and the Politics of Exclusion in Kuwait,” in Al-Manakh: Gulf Continued (Amsterdam: Archis, 2010).
- “The Constitutionality of Discrimination: A Search for Women’s Political Equality in Kuwait,” in Giacomo Luciani and Abdulhadi Khalaf, eds., Constitutional Reform and Political Participation in the Gulf (Dubai: Gulf Research Center, 2006).
- Ahmed Kanna, Dubai: The City as Corporation in International Journal of Middle East Studies 45 (2013): 612-614.
- Yacoub Yusuf Al-Hijji, Kuwait and the Sea: A Brief Social and Economic History in The Middle East in London (July-Aug. 2010): 19.
- “Understanding Modernity: A Review of the Kuwait Pavilion at the Venice Biennale,” jadaliyya.com, 17 September 2014.
- “Kuwait’s Modern Era Between Memory and Forgetting,” introduction to Acquiring Modernity (publication of the Kuwait Pavilion at the Biennale di Venezia 14th International Architecture Exhibition, 2015).
Fellowships and Grants
- 2017: Best Book Award, Association for Gulf and Arabian Peninsula Studies, Middle East Studies Association of North America
- 2012: Leigh Douglas Memorial Prize for the Best PhD Dissertation on a Middle Eastern Topic, British Society of Middle Eastern Studies
- 2012: Best Dissertation Award, Association for Gulf and Arabian Peninsula Studies, Middle East Studies Association of North America
- HIST 314 – Middle East
- HIST 318 – The City in the Modern World
- HIST 459 – Imperialism and Postcolonial Studies
- HIST 475 – Arabia and the Arab Gulf States