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This volume goes far beyond the current work in colonial studies’ which tends to discuss imperial visions and imaginings’ without grappling with the much more important issue: how these colonial visions of other peoples and other landscapes were instrumentalized on the ground in ways that drastically affected real peoples' daily lives and livelihoods- and the nature of postcolonial states and societies.”
Julia Clancy-Smith, author of Mediterraneans: North Africa and Europe in an Age of Migration, c. 18001900
Perhaps in no other region of the globe has the environment been so central to its constitution and history than the Middle East. If nature has come to define the Arab-Islamic world, what are the historic forms and tropes through which this naturalization has been achieved and how has the environment become an object of knowledge? What are the imaginaries which shape our understandings of the region’s environment and why have they had such tenacity and durability? These questions are central to this excellent and path-breaking collection of provocative papers which address the complex cultural, political, scientific and biophysical ways in which for example oil, the nomad, the desert and so on are built into compelling and efficacious environmental narratives, policies and practices. An exemplary political ecology of the MENA region.”
Michael Watts, University of California, Berkeley, author of Silent Violence and Liberation Ecologies, edited with Richard Peet.
Diana K. Davis is an associate professor of history at the University of California at Davis. She is the author of Resurrecting the Granary of Rome: Environmental History and French Colonial Expansion in North Africa.
Edmund (“Terry”) Burke III is research professor of history at the University of California at Santa Cruz. He is the author of numerous books including Genealogies of Orientalism: History, Theory, Politics, edited with David Prochaska.