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Department of Social Anthropology
Annual lecture

The Fredrik Barth Memorial Lecture 2019: Mandana Limbert

The title of this year's lecture is "On Homelands and History in Southern Arabia".

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The invited speaker for the Fredrik Barth Memorial Lecture 2019 is Dr. Mandana Limbert, Associate Professor at the City University of New York.
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Institutt for sosialantropologi, UiB

We are happy to announce that Dr. Mandana Limbert, City University of New York, will give the Fredrik Barth Memorial Lecture 2019.

On Homelands and History in Southern Arabia

Always thinking against the grain and from fieldsites considered on the margins of the Middle East, Fredrik Barth forced anthropologists of the region and beyond to question presumptions about the force of structuring principles as well as the dynamics of social and political relationships and arrangements. Inspired by Barth’s urging of a more robust “analytic description,” and from the shared margin of Southern Arabia, I will in this talk explore fundamental notions of political home and identity, “nation” and “Arabness,” as they transformed over the course of the 20th century.

Drawing on ethnographic and archival work in a town in interior Oman (a town about which Barth also wrote a fascinating article), I will in this lecture explore how ideas of and practices shaping such categories have shifted, connected to particular political, economic, and religious processes and debates that extend across the Indian Ocean. I argue that examining itineraries of and debates about travel and marriage across the ocean can challenge received understandings of identity and belonging in the Middle East.

About the lecturer

Mandana Limbert is Associate Professor at the City University of New York. She received her PhD in Anthropology and Near Eastern Studies from the University of Michigan in 2002 and joined the Queens College (CUNY) faculty the same year. Her research has focused on Arab societies, the Middle East and particularly Oman, in addition to religion, modernity, and colonialism to name some.

In addition to numerous journal articles and book chapters, Prof. Limbert has co-edited Timely Assets: The Politics of Resources and their Temporalities. She is the author of the book In the Time of Oil: Piety, Memory, and Social Life in an Omani Town, which focuses on the intersection of oil wealth, national narratives and identity in Oman. She is currently writing her next book Oman, Zanzibar, and the Politics of Becoming Arab, which will explore the changing notions of Arabness in Oman and Zanzibar over the course of the twentieth century.

Refreshments and drinks will be served after the lecture. All interested are welcome!