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The Arab/Persian Binary: histories of culture and conflict in the Persian Gulf [Audio]

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Speaker(s): Professor Firoozeh Kashani-Sabet | Arabs and Persians have historically been placed in a binary and oppositional relationship. This bifurcated past has influenced the contemporary politics and historiography of the region, with far-reaching consequences for the stability and economic viability of different Middle Eastern communities. This clash of ethnicities becomes especially prominent in the Persian Gulf, where migrants, sailors, indigenous communities, and laborers have intermingled and forged a unique and multi-ethnic culture that defies facile categorization. Yet with the imposition of nationalism these multi-cultural communities have had to accept or adapt to the dominant state identity. This lecture will analyse the process of identity formation in the communities of the Persian Gulf by studying textual sources, as well as imperial and national objectives, that have determined these outcomes. Firoozeh Kashani-Sabet is Walter H Annenberg Professor of History, University of Pennsylvania. Roham Alvandi is is Associate Professor of International History at the London School of Economics and Political Science. This event is the Department of International History Annual Gulf History Lecture with generous support from LSE Kuwait Programme.

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