SUMMARY:The study of political economy has long been a pillar of Middle East studies. While this focus has long claimed a hegemonic approach to class struggle, the cultural and linguistic turn entailed an attenuation of sorts. On the one hand, these approaches introduced previously ignored actors as integral to the making of history and society, proposing epistemological shifts that changed how scholars understand the world as a whole. On the other hand, many scholars came to understand Marxist approaches and studies of gender and sexuality, queer theory, and cultural studies as mutually exclusive. Recent developments, particularly since the economic depression of 2007-2008, have rendered these epistemological and ontological partitions untenable. This roundtable brings together established and emerging scholars from history and anthropology to present a set of interdisciplinary approaches that seek to critique and transcend these divides.
In the wake of a return to political economy, this roundtable centers gender as an experiential and analytical category that shapes property regimes, agricultural commerce, financialization, colonialism, and development. It explores feminist approaches to political economy, gender as methodology, and crucially gender as experience. In this interdisciplinary roundtable, women scholars working across the region reflect on methodological challenges in defining what political economy is, as well as their experiences, stories, pathways to coming to this work. We bring together scholars working on Iraqi Kurdistan, Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Egypt, Turkey, Syria and Palestine to talk about small scale-farming and commodity production, land ownership, sectarianism, law and the environment, colonial frameworks of economic development, and financialization. Participants will trace their gendered experiences as researchers working on political economy of the Middle East.
DISCIPLINES:Anthro; Hist; Anthro; Hist; Anthro; Hist