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Nora Doaiji specializes in social and environmental history, the history of travel, mobility, migration, and borderlands and global history, with a focus on the interconnections between the Arabian Peninsula, the United States, and the Indian Ocean and Ottoman Worlds.


She is presently working on a dissertation research project, tentatively titled: Roads of Arabia, Men of the Desert: A Global History of Central Arabia, 1772-1972. She is also co-Investigator of a digital humanities project focused on the Arabian Peninsula.


Her other research interests include social media and disinformation in the Middle East and she has worked extensively on gender, sexuality, nationalism, and social movements in Saudi Arabia.


The Arabian Peninsula is crisscrossed by numerous trade and hajj routes that, for centuries, have been sites of encounter and networks of exchange between people, places, ideas, and texts. In Roads of Arabia, Men of the Desert, Doaiji traces a varied set of networks and travelers' encounters in and beyond the region of Central Arabia. For the purposes of this dissertation, Central Arabia is defined as the Najd region (or, present-day Saudi provinces of Qassīm, Hāyīl, and Riyādh) and the al-Hasa region of the Eastern Province. By focusing on these routes and their transformation over time, this project reveals local histories of an understudied region that challenge modernist notions of international development, social transformation (e.g., masculinity), and the desert landscape. Studying Central Arabian routes further offers a unique vantage point to historicize the region through its transnational and transregional dimensions; it evidences an interconnected history from the deserts and oases of the Arabian Peninsula to the coasts of California and the ports of Iraq and India.



A special thank you is due to my funding sources including Harvard University's Department of History, Center for Middle East Studies, and the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs.

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