History; Science, Technology & Society
Doctor of Philosophy, History, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London, 2012.
Magister der Philosophie, History, University of Vienna, 2007.
Magister der Philosophie, Arabic Studies, University of Vienna, 2007.
I am very fortunate to work as a faculty member in the Liberal Arts & Sciences program at Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts in Qatar. I also have the honor of serving as an Associate Editor of the Review of Middle East Studies and as Book Review Editor of the Journal of Arabian Studies. Previously, I had the good fortune of working at Zentrum Moderner Orient; Freie Universität Berlin; SOAS, University of London; and King Saud University. I also had the privilege of being a visiting scholar at the King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies.
I am deeply grateful to a number of organizations for generously supporting my research. They include Qatar Foundation, Gerda Henkel Stiftung, the British Society for Middle Eastern Studies, the Abdullah Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah Foundation, the Society for Arabian Studies, the Royal Society for Asian Affairs, and Stiftung Hans. Finally, I sincerely thank my family, friends, colleagues, students, teachers and mentors for their invaluable guidance, encouragement and assistance.
My research interests lie in the history of science and scholarship and in the history of the Muslim world. I am immensely thankful to I.B. Tauris for publishing the following four books of mine: Historiography in Saudi Arabia; Researching Biology and Evolution in the Gulf States; Space Science and the Arab World; and Islam, Science Fiction and Extraterrestrial Life. My current project is entitled Diversifying Modern Astronomy: A History of Science and Activism. You can find more about my research here.
- HIST 341 The Modern Middle East
- HIST 340 The Middle East, 600-1600
- HIST 202 History Without Borders: Global Science
- HIST 201 The Art of Historical Detection
- HIST 101 and 102 Survey of European History
- SCTS 200 Science in Society: Values, Ethics and Politics
- Islam, Science Fiction and Extraterrestrial Life: The Culture of Astrobiology in the Muslim World. London: I.B. Tauris, 2021.
- Space Science and the Arab World: Astronauts, Observatories and Nationalism in the Middle East. London: I.B.Tauris, 2018.
- Researching Biology and Evolution in the Gulf States: Networks of Science in the Middle East. London: I.B.Tauris, 2015.
- كتابة التاريخ في المملكة العربية السعودية: العولمة والدولة في الشرق الأوسط، ترجمة عبدالله بن إبراهيم العسكر. بيروت: جداول، 2015.
- Historiography in Saudi Arabia: Globalization and the State in the Middle East. London: I.B.Tauris, 2014.
- “How to Make Ancient History Relevant to Students in the Gulf Today.” Al-Fanar Media, June 20, 2023. https://www.al-fanarmedia.org/2023/06/how-to-make-ancient-history-relevant-to-students-in-the-gulf-today/.
- “Beyond Technological Resources, Give Students the Gift of Time.” History of Science Society Newsletter 52, no. 1 (2023): 23–25.
- “Pen, Paper and Print: Some Advantages of Low-Tech Teaching.” Al-Fanar Media, January 24, 2023. https://al-fanarmedia.org/2023/01/pen-paper-and-print-some-advantages-of-low-tech-teaching/.
- “Nurturing Empathy and Solidarity Through Teaching the History of Slavery.” Al-Fanar Media, December 5, 2022. https://al-fanarmedia.org/2022/12/nurturing-empathy-and-solidarity-through-teaching-the-history-of-slavery/.
- “From ‘Aladdin’ to ‘Grendizer’: Connecting with Students through Popular Culture.” Al-Fanar Media, November 2, 2022. https://al-fanarmedia.org/2022/11/from-aladdin-to-grendizer-connecting-with-students-through-popular-culture/.
- “Teaching the History of Science with the Qatar Digital Library.” Communiqué 105 (2022): 31–33.
- “Tackling Climate Change Through Teaching Environmental History.” Al-Fanar Media, July 16, 2022. https://www.al-fanarmedia.org/2022/07/tackling-climate-change-through-teaching-environmental-history/.
- “A Feel for History: Let Students Experience It with All Their Senses.” Al-Fanar Media, June 21, 2022. https://www.al-fanarmedia.org/2022/06/a-feel-for-history-let-students-experience-it-with-all-their-senses/.
- “Kindness in the Classroom Is More Important Than Ever During Covid-19.” Al-Fanar Media, July 20, 2021. https://www.al-fanarmedia.org/2021/07/kindness-in-the-classroom-is-more-important-than-ever-during-covid-19/
- “How to Create Safe Spaces for Teaching Taboo Topics.” Al-Fanar Media, June 30, 2021. https://www.al-fanarmedia.org/2021/06/how-to-create-safe-spaces-for-teaching-taboo-topics/.
- “Teaching Middle Eastern History Through Games.” Al-Fanar Media, June 9, 2021. https://www.al-fanarmedia.org/2021/06/teaching-middle-eastern-history-through-games/.
- “Universities That Teach in English Should Aim for Linguistic Diversity Too.” Al-Fanar Media, May 27, 2021. https://www.al-fanarmedia.org/2021/05/universities-that-teach-in-english-should-aim-for-linguistic-diversity-too/
- “How Much Academic Freedom Should Students Have?” Al-Fanar Media, April 1, 2021. https://www.al-fanarmedia.org/2021/04/how-much-academic-freedom-should-students-have/.
- “Teaching and Researching Arabia in Arabia.” The IASA Bulletin 26 (2021): 10–11.
- “al-ʿUthaymīn, ʿAbdallāh al-Ṣāliḥ.” In The Encyclopaedia of Islam, Three, edited by Kate Fleet, Gudrun Krämer, Denis Rowson, John Nawas, and Everett Rowson, Part 2021-1: 149–51. Leiden: Brill.
- “Teaching with Podcasts.” Newsletter of the History of Science Society 49, no. 4 (2020): 10–11.
- “Islamophobia & Civilization: Surveying European History from the Middle East.” Communiqué 102 (2020): 35–36.
- “Transcending Middle East conflict in the space race.” Nature Middle East, June 30,2020. https://www.natureasia.com/en/nmiddleeast/article/10.1038/nmiddleeast.2020.69
- “History of Astronomy and Space Science in the Islamic World.” In Oxford Bibliographies in Islamic Studies, edited by Natana DeLong-Bas. New York: Oxford University Press, 2019.
- ”Dynastic Periodization and its Limits: Historiography in Contemporary Arab Monarchies.” Der Islam 91, no. 1 (2014): 95–114.
- “Recent Science in Arabia: Networks of Biology and Evolution in the Gulf Monarchies.” Orient Bulletin 24 (2013): 3–4.
- “How Saudis Write Their History: Historiography in Saudi Arabia.” Bulletin of the British Foundation for the Study of Arabia 17 (2012): 4–5.
- “Die Entwicklung von Geschichtsschreibung in Saudi-Arabien: Erschließung der modernen Geistesgeschichte eines wichtigen, aber kaum erforschten Landes.” L.I.S.A.: Das Wissenschaftsportal der Gerda Henkel Stiftung, March 9, 2010. http://www.lisa.gerda-henkel-stiftung.de/content.php?nav_id=997.
- “The Crusades in Arab School Textbooks.” Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations 19, no. 2 (2008): 199–214.
- “Amélie Le Renard. Western Privilege: Work, Intimacy, and Postcolonial Hierarchies in Dubai.” Review of Middle East Studies 55, no. 2 (2022): 295–97.
- “Teach for Arabia: American Universities, Liberalism, and Transnational Qatar, by Neha Vora.” British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies 49, no. 2 (2022): 390–91.
- “Archive Wars: The Politics of History in Saudi Arabia. By Rosie Bsheer.” Journal of Social History 55, no. 3 (2022): 814–15.
- “Jacqueline Mitton; Simon Mitton. Vera Rubin: A Life.” Isis 113, no. 1 (2022): 206–7.
- “Ian Campbell, Arabic Science Fiction.” Journal of Arabic Literature 52, no. 1–2 (2021): 267–71.
- “Just astronomy.” Nature Astronomy 5, no. 4 (2021): 336–37.
- “The unlikely role of dinosaurs in the diversity discourse.” Science 369, no. 6504 (2020): 632.
- “The Lighthouse and the Observatory: Islam, Science, and Empire in Late Ottoman Egypt, Daniel A. Stolz.” Annals of Science 74, no. 4 (2018): 375–77.
- “Shavit, Uriya: Scientific and Political Freedom in Islam: A Critical Reading of the Modernist-Apologetic School.” Wiener Zeitschrift für die Kunde des Morgenlandes 108 (2018): 454–55.
- “Souid, Sihem: L’Arabie saoudite, ce pays méconnu.” Wiener Zeitschrift für die Kunde des Morgenlandes 107 (2017): 513–14.
- “On Astronomia: An Arabic Critical Edition and English Translation of EPISTLE 3, edited and translated by F. Jamil Ragep and Taro Mimura.” Journal of Astronomical History and Heritage 20, no. 2 (2017): 260–61.
- “Circuits of Faith: Migration, Education, and the Wahhabi Mission, by Michael Farquhar.” Middle East Journal 71, no. 2 (2017): 331–32.
- “J.E. Peterson (ed.): The Emergence of the Gulf States: Studies in Modern History.” Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies 79, no. 3 (2016): 659–60.
- “Pascal Menoret. Joyriding in Riyadh: Oil, Urbanism, and Road Revolt.” American Historical Review 120, no. 3 (2015): 1149–50.
- “Legal and Political Reforms in Sa‘udi Arabia. Joseph A. Kéchichian.” Middle Eastern Studies 49, no. 3 (2013): 502–3.
- “Edge of Arabia: Contemporary Art from Saudi Arabia, exhibition in the Brunei Gallery at the School of Oriental and African Studies, London, 10/16/2008 – 12/13/2008.” Middle East Journal of Culture and Communication 2, no. 1 (2009): 171–75.
Invited lectures and talks:
- “Islamic Science Fiction.” Institut für Orientalistik, University of Vienna, Austria, 2023.
- “Islam and the Futuristic Imagination.” Liberal Arts Speaker Series, Northwestern University in Qatar, 2022.
- “Islamischer Futurismus.” Ringvorlesung „Global Future/s“, Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg, Germany, 2022.
- “Science, Technology and Imagination in the Muslim World.” Distinguished Lecture Series, University of California San Diego, United States of America, 2022.
- “Futurisms in the Muslim World.” Department of English Language and Literature, Cappadocia University, Turkey, 2021.
- “Muslim Futurisms: Science and the Imagination Across Asia.” Royal Society for Asian Affairs, London, United Kingdom, 2021.
- “Arabische Astronaut*innen.” Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg, Germany, 2020.
- “A Space Race in the Gulf?” Brookings Doha Center, Brookings Institution, Qatar, 2019.
- “Space Politics and the Gulf States.” Gulf Studies Center, Qatar University, 2019.
- “Space Science and the Modern Arab World.” Council on Middle East Studies Colloquium, Yale University, New Haven, United States of America, 2019.
- “Islam and the Imagination of Alien Life.” School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Al Akhawayn University, Ifrane, Morocco, 2019.
- “Space Exploration and the Arab States.” School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Al Akhawayn University, Ifrane, Morocco, 2019.
- “How Muslims Have Imagined Life in the Universe.” Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, United States of America, 2018.
- Space Aliens, Islam and Politics in Arabic Science Fiction.” Seminar in West Asian Studies, Department of Asian Languages and Civilizations, Seoul National University, Korea, 2018.
- “Space Politics and Security in the Middle East.” Philosophy, International Studies and Economics (PISE) Lecture, Ca' Foscari University of Venice, Italy, 2017.
- “Space Science and Politics in the Middle East.” Political Economy Cluster Seminar, Middle East Institute, National University of Singapore, 2017.
- “Arab Space Science and the Golden Age of Islam.” Islamic Studies Research Seminar, Qatar Faculty of Islamic Studies, Hamad Bin Khalifa University, Doha, Qatar, 2016.
- “Crossing the Cosmos: Modern Arab Space Scientists.” Institute of Near Eastern and African Studies, Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic, 2016.
- “Science in Transaction: Networks of Biological Research in the Gulf.” Faculty Research Colloquium, Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in Qatar, 2015.
- “Saudi-Arabien nach König Abdullah.” Jour Fixe „Nahost aktuell“, Diplomatische Akademie Wien, Austria, 2015.
- “The Arab World’s Final Frontier: Egypt, NASA and Transnational Space Science.” Qatar Faculty Forum, Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar, 2014.
- “Architectural Heritage in Saudi Arabia: From the Dynasty to the Nation.” Royal Society for Asian Affairs, London, United Kingdom, 2010.
- “Contemporary Historiography in Saudi Arabia.” Seminar on the History of the Near and Middle East, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, United Kingdom, 2009.
- “Kulturelle Strömungen im öffentlichen Raum: eine Reise durch Saudi-Arabien.” Institut für Orientalistik, University of Vienna, Austria, 2008.
- “Celestial Movement: A History of Social Justice Activism in Astronomy.” Fifteenth Biennial History of Astronomy Workshop, University of Notre Dame, United States of America, 2023.
- “Science, Islam and the Imagination.” Arab Forum of Science Media and Communication, University of Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, 2023.
- “Astro-Activism: A History of the Movement for Diversity and Inclusion in Modern Astronomy.” History of Science Society Annual Meeting, Chicago, United States of America, 2022.
- “Islamic Futures.” Cozzzmonautica 2022 – Forest of Antennae, Timișoara, Romania, 2022.
- “Diversifying modern astronomy: a history of academic activism.” 26th International Congress of History of Science and Technology, Prague, Czech Republic, 2021.
- “The History of Astrobiology and the Muslim World.” Global Digital History of Science Festival, British Society for the History of Science, 2020.
- “The International Astronomical Union and the Arab World: Bridging Communities in Science and Outreach.” XXXth General Assembly of the International Astronomical Union, Vienna, Austria, 2018.
- “Lord of the Worlds: Islam, Astrobiology, and Science Fiction in the Middle East.” World Congress for Middle Eastern Studies, Fundación Tres Culturas del Mediterráneo and Universidad de Sevilla, Seville, Spain, 2018.
- “Muslim Worlds: Extraterrestrial Life and Scientific Imagination in the Middle East.” British Society for Middle Eastern Studies Annual Conference, New Approaches to Studying the Middle East, King’s College London, United Kingdom, 2018.
- “Arab Space Science: Cosmopolitanism and Nationalism.” 25th International Congress of History of Science and Technology, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 2017.
- “La conquête arabe de l’espace.” Rendez-vous de l’Histoire du monde arabe, troisième édition, Frontière(s), Institut du monde arabe, Paris, France, 2017.
- “Arab World Science: Transnational Networks and Modern Astronomy.” British Society for Middle Eastern Studies Annual Conference, Networks: Connecting the Middle East Through Time, Space and Cyberspace. University of Wales Trinity Saint David, United Kingdom, 2016.
- “Arab World Science: Transnational Astronomy and Modern Egypt.” Eighth Three Societies Meeting of the British Society for the History of Science, the Canadian Society for the History and Philosophy of Science, and the History of Science Society, Transitions. University of Alberta, Canada, 2016.
- “Rentier science: history of biology and evolution in the Arab Gulf States.” British Society for the History of Science Annual Conference, Swansea University, Wales, 2015.
- “Biology, Evolution and Scientific Islands of Efficiency in Arabia.” Annual Meeting of the Canadian Society for the History and Philosophy of Science, held as part of the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Ottawa, Ontario, 2015.
- “Transnational Biology and Astronomy in the Gulf: Globalization and Science in the Middle East.” Liberal Arts International Conference Looking Forward, Looking Back: Transnational Perspectives on Globalization, Texas A&M University at Qatar, 2015.
- “Researching Biology and Evolution in the Gulf States: Networks of Science in the Middle East.” Qatar Foundation Annual Research Conference, Doha, Qatar, 2013.
- “Scientific Networks, Evolution and the Saudi Wildlife Commission.” In Search of the Kingdom – Emerging Scholarship on Saudi Arabia: From the First Saudi State to the Present, workshop, Zentrum Moderner Orient and Berlin Graduate School Muslim Cultures and Societies, Freie Universität Berlin, Germany, 2013.
- “Dynastic Periodization and its Limits: Historiography in Contemporary Arab Monarchies.” What is in a Period? ‘Jāhiliyya’, ‘ʿAbbāsid’, and ‘Arab Spring’ in Arabic Historical Writing, Arabic Pasts: Histories and Historiography workshop, Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations, Aga Khan University, and School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, United Kingdom, 2012.
- “Globalization, the State, and Narrative Plurality: Historiography in Saudi Arabia.” British Society for Middle Eastern Studies Annual Conference in association with the European Association for Middle Eastern Studies and the Asian Federation of Middle East Associations, University of Exeter, United Kingdom, 2011.
- “Globalization, the State, and Narrative Plurality: Historiography in Saudi Arabia, 1924–2010.” 44th Annual Meeting of the Middle East Studies Association (MESA), San Diego, California, United States of America, 2010.
- “Globalization, the State, and Narrative Plurality: Historiography in Saudi Arabia, 1932–2010.” Third World Congress for Middle Eastern Studies, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain, 2010.
- “The Emergence and Challenges of a National Historiography in Saudi Arabia.” Arabic Pasts: Histories and Historiography workshop, Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations, Aga Khan University, and School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, United Kingdom, 2009.
- “Spaces in Contemporary Historiography in Saudi Arabia.” Frontiers: Space, Separation and Contact in the Middle East, British Society for Middle Eastern Studies Annual Conference, University of Manchester, United Kingdom, 2009.
- Distinguished Achievement in Research Award, Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar, 2015.
- BRISMES Leigh Douglas Memorial Prize for the best PhD dissertation on a Middle Eastern topic, British Society for Middle Eastern Studies and Leigh Douglas Memorial Fund, 2013.
- Abdullah Mubarak BRISMES Scholarship, Abdullah Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah Foundation and the British Society for Middle Eastern Studies, 2010.
- Sir Peter Holmes Memorial Award for Travel, Royal Society for Asian Affairs, United Kingdom, 2009.
- Prize (Würdigungspreis) for the best university graduates in Austria, Austrian Federal Minister of Science and Research, 2007.
- Book Review Editor, Journal of Arabian Studies (Taylor & Francis), since 2022.
- Associate Editor, Review of Middle East Studies (Middle East Studies Association and Cambridge University Press), since 2017.
- Member, Editorial Board, Wiener Zeitschrift für die Kunde des Morgenlandes (University of Vienna), since 2016.
- Chair, Faculty and Staff Life Committee, Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar, 2021–2022.
- Chair, Teaching and Learning Committee, Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar, 2020–2021.
- Chair, Faculty Research Grant Committee, Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar, 2018–2019.
- Co-chair, Faculty Advisory Committee, Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar, 2016–2017.
- Chair, Research Development Committee, Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar, 2013–2015.