Rosie Bsheer

Rosie Bsheer

Assistant Professor of History
On leave fall term 2021

Rosie Bsheer is a historian of the modern Middle East. Her teaching and research interests center on Arab intellectual and social movements, petro-capitalism and state formation, and the production of historical knowledge and commemorative spaces. She is the author of Archive Wars: The Politics of History in Saudi Arabia (Stanford University Press, August 2020).She teaches graduate and undergraduate courses on oil and empire, social and intellectual movements, petro-modernity, political economy, historiography, and the making of the modern Middle East. She is Associate Producer of the 2007 Oscar-nominated film My Country, My Country, Co-Editor of Jadaliyya E-zine, and Associate Editor of Tadween Publishing.

Bsheer’s work has been supported by the Mellon Foundation, the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS), the Social Science Research Council (SSRC), the Whiting Foundation, and the Institute for Religion, Culture, and Public Life. She received her Ph.D. in History from Columbia University (2014) and comes to Harvard University from Yale University, where she was Assistant Professor of History (2014–2018). She is the recipient of the Poorvu Family Award for Interdisciplinary Teaching at Yale University (2017) and Yale College’s Sarai Ribicoff ‘75 Award for the Encouragement of Teaching (2018).


Select Publications


Archive Wars: The Politics of History in Saudi Arabia (Stanford University Press, August 2020).

The Dawn of the Arab Uprisings: End of An Old Order? Co-edited with Bassam Haddad and Ziad Abu-Rish. (Pluto Press, October 2012).


Articles and Chapters

W(h)ither Arabian Peninsula Studies?” in Jens Hansen and Amal Ghazal (Eds), Handbook Of Contemporary Middle East And North African History. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017).

 “Heritage as War,” special issue Cultural Heritage in Crisis,International Journal of Middle East Studies 49 (4) October 2017.

A Counterrevolutionary State: Popular Movements and the Making of Saudi Arabia,” Past and Present ( February 2018).

Theorizing the Arabian Peninsula,” Jadmag Pedagogy Publications, i, 1 (Fall 2013).


Journalistic Articles and Interviews

“How Mohammed Bin Salman Has Transformed Saudi Arabia,” The Nation, May 21, 2018.

Don’t be fooled by the comforting rhetoric coming from Saudi Arabia’s crown prince, Washington Post, November 8, 2017.

Repères urbanisme: La Mecque et la politique saoudienne du réaménagement urbain, special edition, “Arabie Saoudite: Pouvoire et Société Au Royaume Al-Saud,” Moyen-Orient n. 29, Janvier-Mars 2016.

Changing Mecca Creates ‘Haves’ and ‘Have Nots,’ Interview with Rosie Bsheer, NPR’s Here and Now, September 25, 2015.

The Property Regime: Mecca and the Politics of Redevelopment in Saudi Arabia. Jadaliyya. September 8, 2015.

On Nostalgia and Material Culture in the Hijaz: An Interview with Sarah Al Abdali, Jadaliyya, November 7, 2013.

GCC and The Sacred Right to Punish. Jadaliyya. February 28, 2013.

Advocacy, Uprising, and Authoritarianism in Bahrain. Jadaliyya. January 22, 2013. 

Saudi Arabia: Revolutionaries Without A Revolution. Jadaliyya and Egypt Independent. April 2, 2012.

Saudi Arabia’s Silent Protests. Jadaliyya, January 29, 2011.

It’s Not The Morality Police, Stupid. Jadaliyya, January 17, 2011.

Chocking Mecca in the Name of Beauty and Development, Jadaliyya, October 21, 2010.

Poverty in the Oil Kingdom: An Introduction. Jadaliyya, September 30, 2010.

Kafala Politics and Domestic Labor in Saudi Arabia. Jadaliyya, September 17, 2010.

Contact Information

Center for Middle Eastern Studies Room 210
38 Kirkland Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
p: 617-495-2817

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