CMES: A Play within a Play, Khurma, 1918 -- Riyadh, 2015: Abd al-Aziz, Salman, Succession, and Censorship


Wednesday, February 14, 2018, 4:00pm to 6:00pm


CMES, Rm 102, 38 Kirkland St, Cambridge, MA 02138

The CMES Arabian Peninsula Studies Lecture Series presents

Benjamin Braude
Associate Professor, Department of History, Boston College; Research Associate, Department of Religion, Smith College

In March 2015 the Islamic University of Al-Imam Muhammad bin Saud held the Second International Conference on the History of King Abdulaziz. That is the outer play. The inner play is my contribution: how Abdulaziz manipulated the unwitting British representative in Riyadh, Harry St. John Philby, in 1917-1918, to support a key early stage in the campaign that brought the Saudis control of the Hijaz. Uncovering evidence that British money and materiel contributed to the Saudi victory over the British-allied Hashemites was the core of my paper. However, the text -- though not the actual version delivered orally -- of the paper was censored by the Saudi organizers. Why they did so and what they attempted to remove, represents the intersection of the two plays.  

Professor Benjamin Braude, History, Boston College, has been a visiting professor/research fellow at Harvard, Princeton, Smith College, École des hautes études en sciences sociales, Paris, Collège de France, the Institute for Advanced Studies, Hebrew University, Jerusalem, and the Corso de Verano, Universidad Complutensa de Madrid and a member of St. Antony's College Oxford. He has Harvard degrees in History (BA, Magna cum Laude, MA, PhD). He has published on race and identity in transnational perspective, including essays for the William and Mary Quarterly and Annales. His 1982 collection Christians and Jews in the Ottoman Empire has been excerpted, translated into Croatian, and published in a pirated edition (Sarajevo, 2009), and has also appeared in a legal abridged edition (2014). His current major project is Michelangelo's Sistine Ceiling, Oriental Fraud in the Chapel of the Palace. On Monday, 9 April, at 5:00 PM, sponsored by Harvard's Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Islamic Studies Program, Medieval Studies, and the Center for the Study of World Religions, he will deliver a lecture related to his Sistine project, "Sultan Shajar and Pope Joan, the Mamluk Origins of a Christian Legend" at the CGIS building, 1730 Cambridge Street.

Contact: Liz Flanagan

See also: Arabian PeninsulaHistoryLiteratureArabian Peninsula Studies Lecture Series2017-18