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Courtney Freer

February 21st, 2020

Heritage and National Identity Construction in the Gulf: Between State-building and Grassroots Initiatives

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Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

Courtney Freer

February 21st, 2020

Heritage and National Identity Construction in the Gulf: Between State-building and Grassroots Initiatives

0 comments | 3 shares

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

by Courtney Freer

The Corniche in Doha, Spring 2008, with the New District construction work taking place across the Doha Bay. Source: Paul Cowan, Shutterstock

On 5–6 December 2019, the LSE Middle East Centre organised a workshop entitled ‘Heritage and National Identity Construction in the Gulf: Between State-building and Grassroots Initiatives,’ as part of an academic collaboration with Dr. Rima Sabban of Zayed University funded by the Centre’s Academic Collaborations with Arab Universities Programme. The workshop, the second convened in connection to the collaborative project, brought together experts from a variety of disciplines, including museums studies, political science, sociology, and anthropology to understand the tensions and harmonies between state-led and popularly led efforts at building heritage and national identity in the Gulf. Over the course of the two days, participants interrogated the extent to which these two visions actually exist as distinct categories, while also parsing out similarities and differences in heritage projects across the states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). The blog posts that follow highlight the wide-ranging and interdisciplinary nature of the discussions, which were organised into six panels: construction of national identity: state efforts; construction of national identity: grassroots efforts; managing Gulf museums; construction of national identity: religion and heritage; military, heritage, and national identity; and heritage outside museums.


In this series:

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About the author

Courtney Freer

Courtney Freer is Assistant Professorial Research Fellow at the Middle East Centre. Her research focuses on domestic politics of the Gulf states, with particular interest in Islamism and tribalism. She tweets at @courtneyfreer

Posted In: Conferences | GCC

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