Five College Consortium

Genealogy, Wahhabism, and State Formation in Saudi Arabia

Thu, Feb 2 2017 - 4:00pm to 5:30pm
Herter Hall 601

In this talk I will draw from my past and current book projects to discuss how precolonial categories of central Arabian social thought have been transformed in the era of modern state formation, and how these changes help us to understand some of the distinctive qualities of modern Saudi history. My talk will be based on a range of unexamined sources collected in Saudi Arabia between 2009 and 2016, to include private correspondence, Saudi government maps and archival documents, family trees, oral narratives, and others. Taken together, these sources provide a picture into a deeply opaque yet highly influential modern Arab society, and suggest some new ways of mapping the history of the modern Middle East and broader Islamic world.

UMass Amherst
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