This volume explores the ways petroleum as an industry and substance has moulded the social, cultural and artistic life of the Middle East. Rather than tackle the powers of this crucial resource from the perspective of macro-economics, impersonal rentier states and large corporations, this book 'brings oil back' into the ebbs and flows of Middle Eastern life. It focuses on the ways petroleum mediates and is mediated by national formations and imaginaries, visual practices, as well as scientific, business and artistic production. In focusing on the largest oil producing and exporting region in the world, this volume sheds light on the effects and affects of petroleum's presence within and beyond the oil-industry.
Nelida Fuccaro is Professor of Middle Eastern History at New York University Abu Dhabi. She has written on cities, public violence, frontier societies and on the urban, social, material and visual cultures of oil in the Persian Gulf, Iraq and Arabian Peninsula. Among her publications, she is the editor of Violence and the City in the Modern Middle East (Stanford University Press, 2016) and of the special issue 'Oil and Urban Modernity in the Middle East' in Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East(2013). She is the author of Histories of City and State in the Persian Gulf: Manama since 1800 (Cambridge University Press, 2009). Mandana Limbert is Associate Professor of Anthropology at Queens College and the Graduate Center, CUNY. She received her Ph.D. in Anthropology and Near Eastern Studies from the University of Michigan in 2002 and joined CUNY the same year. Her publications include her monograph In the Time of Oil (Stanford University Press, 2010), a co-edited volume Timely Assets (School of American Research, 2008), as well as articles and chapters on oil development, temporality, and religiosity in Oman. Her work has appeared in numerous journals including Social Text, Ethnos, Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa, and the Middle East, and the International Journal of Middle East Studies.