Category Archives: Middle East

BBC 3 Free Thinking interview with Matthew Sweet

Matthew Sweet of BBC Free Thinking was a brilliant reader of the book, having read closely and with an eye for fetching detail. We talked for about half an hour, and the interview can be heard here (my part of … Continue reading

Posted in capital accumulation, empire, imperialism & colonialism, environment, free ports/zones, infrastructure, labour, Middle East, political economy, ports, shipping conditions, transport, Travels, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Recent lecture: Tankers and Tycoons

Here is a link to a talk I have given a few times, most recently at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. It is a talk I am hoping to turn into an article, but which requires a bit more … Continue reading

Posted in imperialism & colonialism, labour, logistics, Middle East, oil, political economy, shipping conditions, ships, transport, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Publication: A World Built on Sand and Oil

This is probably one of my favourite publications, in part because I was pushed and pushed by Lapham Quarterly‘s superb editors. The essay compares the trade in oil and sand today to think through maritime transportation, the building of infrastructures, the … Continue reading

Posted in capital accumulation, construction, empire, imperialism & colonialism, environment, infrastructure, Middle East, oil, ports, transport, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Publication: The infrastructural power of the military

Drawing on extensive research in the archives of the US Army Corps of Engineers, this article again draws on my concomitant interest in militaries and infrastructure. “The infrastructural power of the military: The geoeconomic role of the US Army Corps … Continue reading

Posted in capital accumulation, construction, empire, empire, imperialism & colonialism, infrastructure, labour, logistics, Middle East, militaries, political economy, transport, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Domination, Dispossession and Struggle in the Making of Infrastructure and Logistics

Last night (20 February), Deb Cowen (Toronto), Charmaine Chua (Oberlin), Rafeef Ziadah (SOAS) and I had a conversation about the politics of infrastructure and logistics.  Here is the recording for the event:

Posted in capital accumulation, empire, imperialism & colonialism, finance and insurance, infrastructure, logistics, Middle East, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The poetry of medieval maritime travel

I have been reading Arab navigation manuals and travelogues, and there is such poetry in the navigation manuals in particular. It is the liminality of the navigation texts in particular – between art and science, familiar and wholly other.  I … Continue reading

Posted in Middle East, seafaring, the sea, Travels, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Medieval Arab Naviation

“More interesting is the testimony of Ibn al-Mujawir who reports that in 626 A.H./1228-9 A.D. a ship arrived in Aden from Qumr (Comoros or Madagascar); the art of navigation of the people of Qumr impressed him as superior to that … Continue reading

Posted in Middle East, ports, seafaring, the sea, Travels, Uncategorized | Leave a comment