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FIGHS Event Series, Part 1: Mapping Gulf Spaces: Postcolonial Approaches to Textual Heritage

Tuesday, April 12, 2022, 4:00pm - 5:30pm
Event Sponsor
Abbasi Program in Islamic Studies
Mediterranean Studies Forum
History Department
Program on Urban Studies
Encina Commons 123

Participants: Nora Elizabeth Barakat (Stanford), Mohammed Khalil (Stanford), and Rhea Kale (Stanford), with response from David Joseph Wrisley (NYU Abu Dhabi)

What is the textual heritage of the Arabian Peninsula, and where do we go to access it?  This presentation surveys the OpenGulf project’s efforts to prepare, analyze and visualize digitized sources on the historical geography of the Arabian Peninsula and the wider Gulf region.  British colonial texts in English and tools designed to analyze them have dominated the digital landscape.  We discuss new ways to approach, deconstruct and represent these sources, as well as horizons for increasing access to and knowledge of texts in Arabic and other languages.

About the FIGHS Event Series: Stanford University, Spring 2022

FIGHS (Forum for Interdisciplinary Gulf Heritage Studies at Stanford) is organized by Nora Elizabeth Barakat (Stanford History) and Trinidad Rico (Abbasi Affiliate Visiting Scholar, Director of Cultural Heritage and Preservation Studies, Rutgers University). It is cosponsored by the History Department, the Abbasi Program in Islamic Studies, and Urban Studies.

Description: Who defines cultural heritage in postcolonial contexts, what are the spatial and political boundaries of heritage zones, and how should we approach the relationship between history and heritage? In the Arab Gulf region, these questions have taken on particular urgency and political salience in the past few decades due to state-led urban development, global engagement, and aggressive neoliberal nation-building projects. The Forum for Interdisciplinary Gulf Heritage Studies at Stanford (FIGHS) critically engages the politics of making and mobilizing heritage in the Gulf in the context of cosmopolitan forms of expertise that confront the legacies of colonialism characteristic of heritage preservation traditions. Three interlinked events will address questions of archives, language and the spatial elements of heritage production; urban space, architecture and modernity; and the politics of writing and publishing in the field of Gulf Studies.