Modernity and the Arab Gulf States

The politics of heritage, memory, and forgetting

Authored by: Farah Al-Nakib

Routledge Handbook Of Persian Gulf Politics

Print publication date:  June  2020
Online publication date:  May  2020

Print ISBN: 9780367193737
eBook ISBN: 9780429201981
Adobe ISBN:


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This chapter explores the prevailing disregard and denial of the Gulf’s modernity in popular, scholarly, and official narratives of the region’s history, tracing specifically how and why the region’s “modern era” is omitted from state-led heritage discourses and practices that concentrate almost entirely on reifying the pre-oil period in the contemporary city. By examining the processes that were playing out in the Gulf in the middle of the twentieth century, the chapter seeks to re-evaluate the traditional/local versus hypermodern/global binaries that still saturate how we think, talk, and write about culture in the Arab Gulf.

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