Global Challenges

Who’s who in the Middle East?

Develop an in-depth understanding of key actors in the region.

Who's who in the Middle East? An introduction

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The Middle East can seem like a patchwork of players, alliances, and interests. Old conflicts and new agreements can make it challenging to grasp what is really going on.

In this series, Pelle Valentin Olsen invites researchers to help you navigate the many actors in the region.

They will explain the role of state and non-state actors and their ideologies. What are the interests of regional and global powers? What are the histories we have not been taught What histories and perspectives have simply been reduced to footnotes in international news coverage?

Pelle will start the series with an introductory lecture where he will give an overview of the region. The first conversation in the series will follow right after, at 13:00-14:00: Who’s who in the Middle East? The Houthis.

A light lunch will be served.


Pelle Valentin Olsen is a cultural, social, and transnational historian of the modern Middle East. His research and teaching focus on the history of leisure, labor, gender, sexuality, popular culture, and cultural production.

He focusses specifically on Iraq, but his work simultaneously explores transregional and transnational connections, highlighting everyday perspectives and voices often left out by traditional political and state-centered histories.