This course focuses on the Arabian Peninsula in the twentieth century—Saudi Arabia, the Gulf States, Oman, and Yemen. It addresses tribal organization and its continuing importance, gender relations, varieties of Islam and their influence, and old and new forms of urbanism. Primary readings are all ethnographic. The recorded lectures are from the Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences course Societies of the World 46.

Meet The Author

Steven C. Caton

Steven C. Caton

Khalid Bin Abdullah Bin Abdulrahman Al Saud Professor of Contemporary Arab Studies, Harvard University

Steven C. Caton is an anthropologist with a focus on the Middle East. He has worked on poetry as a form of political rhetoric in tribal Yemen and is now researching the politics of water scarcity in the Arabian Peninsula. He has also written on film, particularly on the image of T.E. Lawrence. The image is an ideological one, furthering the ends of various political agendas in trans-Atlantic culture. At Harvard, he regularly teaches courses on language and culture; Middle East ethnography; linguistic pragmatics and cultural description; anthropology, cultural studies, and film; and the history of anthropological theory. His books include Peaks of Yemen I Summon: Poetry as Cultural Practice in a Northern Yemeni Tribe, Lawrence of Arabia: a Film's Anthology, and Yemen Chronicle: the Anthropology of War and Mediation.

PhD University of Chicago

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