Revisions of Rurality: Expertise, Experience and Exchange in the Production of Environmental Knowledge in a Changing Middle East, 1950s-2020s
Focusing on questions of cultivation in Syria and pollution in Kurdistan-Iraq, this project analyses the transformation of exemplary case studies of Middle Eastern ruralities. Drawing from literature and archival research, oral history, and ethnographic fieldwork, it examines the translocal relations and encounters through which knowledge about rural environments has been, and continues to be, produced, disseminated, exchanged, and (de- or re-)contextualized. These are approached as a social field characterized by hierarchies and uneven power relations. Rather than assuming a simple, directive transfer from urban centres to their hinterlands, the project aims to uncover the manifold webs of relations that connect and intertwine rural spaces and urban hubs across broader geographies.