Northwestern Events Calendar


MENA Monday. Oil and Empire, 1871-1929 — A Talk by Joel Beinin

When: Monday, April 3, 2017
12:00 PM - 1:30 PM CT

Where: Kresge Hall, The Forum (Kresge 1-515), 1880 Campus Drive , Evanston, IL 60208 map it

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Cost: Free

Contact: Danny Postel  

Group: Middle East and North African Studies

Category: Lectures & Meetings


How should we write the history of the modern oil industry? The story of oil has most commonly been related as a heroic tale of entrepreneurs who sought adventure and reaped fabulous wealth. In counterpoint, the petroleum industry has been presented as an emblematic case of vertical integration and the tendency of capital towards monopoly. Oil is first and foremost a commercial commodity. Those who produce it do so primarily to reap profits. That cold reality has often been obscured by imperial rivalries over access to oil and dubious claims that there is some intrinsic advantage to oil being produced and supplied by a country's own citizens. "Oil and Empire" examines the tensions between oil as a commercial commodity and the strategic considerations of empire in the Middle East and beyond.

Joel Beinin is Professor of Middle East History at Stanford University. He is the author of Workers and Thieves: Labor Movements and Popular Uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt (2015), The Struggle for Worker Rights in Egypt (2010), Workers and Peasants in the Modern Middle East (2001), and The Dispersion of Egyptian Jewry: Culture, Politics, and the Formation of a Modern Diaspora (1998), and co-editor (with Frédéric Vairel) of Social Movements, Mobilization, and Contestation in the Middle East and North Africa (2013)and (with Rebecca L. Stein) The Struggle for Sovereignty: Palestine and Israel, 1993-2005 (2006).

From 2006 to 2008 he served as Director of Middle East Studies and Professor of History at the American University in Cairo (AUC). In 2001-02 he served as president of the Middle East Studies Association of North America (MESA). He has been associated with the Middle East Research and Information Project (MERIP) since 1980, serving as an editor and contributing editor of Middle East Report. He is series editor of Stanford Studies in Middle Eastern and Islamic Societies and Cultures.

Professor Beinin will give another talk at 6:00 pm at the Evanston Public Library on his recent book Workers and Thieves: Labor Movements and Popular Uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt. That event is free of charge and open to the public. Registration is not required, but helps the library plan their seating. You may register with the Evanston Public Library online or by calling the Reference Desk at 847-448-8630.

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