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[2017/11/09] ISA International Guest Lecture: Lineage Seeking in the Oil Kingdom. Genealogy and Modern Saudi Arabia

 

ISA-Einladung

Nadav Samin (Independent Researcher, USA): "Lineage Seeking in the Oil Kingdom. Genealogy and Modern Saudi Arabia"

Thursday, 9. November 2017, 16.00

ÖAW, Institut für Sozialanthropologie
A-1020 Wien, Hollandstrasse 11-13

This talk presents findings from my 2015 book, Of Sand or Soil: Genealogy and Tribal Belonging in Saudi Arabia, in which I describe the refashioning of  genealogical knowledge (ansāb) in modern Saudi Arabia, and explain the significance of this phenomenon for understanding Saudi history, politics, and religious life. Specifically, I will introduce the phenomenon of lineage-seeking, by which I mean the effort many Saudis undertake to prove their descent from historically recognized Arabian kinship groups or tribes. I argue that these efforts are driven in significant ways by oil era transformations in Saudi social and political life, to include the shift from oral to textual modes of authoritative knowledge; the dispersion of kinship groups throughout the modern kingdom; and the emergence of a competitive rentier state aristocracy.

 

Nadav Samin is a specialist in the Arabian Peninsula and the author of Of Sand or Soil: Genealogy and Tribal Belonging in Saudi Arabia (Princeton University Press, 2015). From 2014 to 2017, he was Visiting Assistant Professor and Senior Lecturer in Anthropology and History at Dartmouth College. Dr. Samin‘s articles have appeared in Comparative Studies in Society and History, Hedgehog Review, British Journal of Middle East Studies, and other publications. He received his Ph.D. in Near Eastern Studies from Princeton University in 2013.