Synopses & Reviews
"This volume is an important step in the effort to bring the study of the politics of the Arabian Peninsula into the mainstream of scholarship and to bring the full range of scholarly approaches to the study of the Peninsula. It breaks new ground on both empirical and interpretative levels."-- F. Gregory Gause, III, Director of the Middle East Studies Program, University of Vermont
"Counter-Narratives brings together some of the finest new scholarship on the Arabian Peninsula. The contributors offer a rich analysis of social identity, political belonging, and historical transformation in Saudi Arabia and Yemen. The book illuminates the differing roles of imperial powers, local hierarchies, intellectual reformers, oil companies, and other actors in shaping the region's modern politics. Conventional images of a world of tribes, rulers, and oilmen give way to finely textured interpretations of one of the most critically important areas of the contemporary world."--Timothy Mitchell. Professor of Politics, New York University
Saudi Arabia and Yemen are two countries of crucial importance in the Middle East and yet our knowledge about them is highly limited, while typical ways of looking at the histories of these countries have impeded understanding. Counter-Narratives
brings together a group of leading scholars of the Middle East using new theoretical and methodological approaches to cross-examine standard stories, whether as told by Westerners or by Saudis and Yemenis, and these are found wanting. The authors assess how grand historical narratives such as those produced by states and colonial powers are currently challenged by multiple historical actors, a process which generates alternative narratives about identity, the state and society.
About the Author
is Senior Lecturer in Social Anthropology at King's College, University of London.
Robert Vitalis is Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Pennsylvania.
Table of Contents
Introduction--Madawi Al-Rasheed and Robert Vitalis * Arabian Peninsula Studies
* Arabia Incognito: An Invitation to Arabian Peninsula Studies--Sheila Carapico * New Historical Research and Agendas
* The Imama' vs. the Iqal: Hadari-Bedouin Conflict and the Formation of the Saudi State--Abdulaziz H. Al-Fahad * Material Conditions, Knowledge, and Trade in Central Arabia During the 19th and Early 20th Centuries--Guido Walter Steinberg * Reframing Social History in the Middle East: The Case of Ottoman Yemen, 1914-1918--Isa Blumi * Recasting Tribe in South Yemen: Colonialism and the Moral Geography of the Imamate--John Matthew Willis * Aramco World: Business and Culture on the Arabian Oil Frontier--Robert Vitalis * Contemporary Politics and Society
* The Capture of Riyadh Revisited: The Shaping of Historical Imagination in Saudi Arabia--Madawi Al-Rasheed * Struggles Over History and Identity: "Opening the Gates" of the Kingdom to Tourism--Gwenn Okruhlik * Evacuating Memory in Post-Revolutionary Yemen--Gabriele Vom Bruck