Rosie Bsheer

Rosie Bsheer's picture
Assistant Professor
HGS 208
Fields of interest: 

Social and intellectual history of Ottoman Arabia and the modern Middle East; the Arabian Peninsula; urban studies; historiography; comparative colonialism.


Rosie Bsheer is an Assistant Professor of History, focusing on the modern Middle East. Her teaching and research interests center on Arab intellectual and social movements, petro-capitalism and state formation, and the production of historical knowledge and commemorative spaces. She is currently finishing up a book manuscript, provisionally entitled, Archive Wars: Spectacle, Speculation, and the Politics of History in Saudi Arabia (under contract with Stanford University Press). She teaches graduate and undergraduate courses on oil and empire, social and intellectual movements, petro-modernity, historiography, and the making of the modern Middle East. She is Associate Producer of the 2007 Oscar-nominated film My Country, My Country and a co-editor of Jadaliyya E-zine.

Bsheer’s work has been supported by the Mellon Foundation, the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS), the Social Science Research Council (SSRC), the Whiting Foundation, and the Institute for Religion, Culture, and Public Life. She received her Ph.D. in History from Columbia University (2014) and comes to Yale University from Swarthmore College, where she was a 2013-2014 visiting professor. She is the recipient of the 2017 Poorvu Family Award for Interdisciplinary Teaching and Yale College’s 2018 Sarai Ribicoff ‘75 Award for the Encouragement of Teaching.

Selected Publications


Archive Wars: Spectacle, Speculation, and the Politics of History in Saudi Arabia (under contract with Stanford University Press)

The Dawn of the Arab Uprisings: End of An Old Order? Co-edited with Bassam Haddad and Ziad Abu-Rish. (Pluto Press, October 2012).

Articles and Book Chapters

“A Counterrevolutionary State: Popular Movements and the Making of Saudi Arabia,” Past and Present (December 2017).

“Heritage as War,” special issue Cultural Heritage in Crisis, International Journal of Middle East Studies 49 (4) October 2017.

W(h)ither Arabian Peninsula Studies?” in Jens Hansen and Amal Ghazal (Eds), Handbook Of Contemporary Middle East And North African History. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017).

“Theorizing the Arabian Peninsula,” Jadmag Pedagogy Publications, i, 1 (Fall 2013).

Journalistic Articles and Interviews

Don’t be fooled by the comforting rhetoric coming from Saudi Arabia’s crown princeWashington Post, November 8, 2017.

Repères urbanisme: La Mecque et la politique saoudienne du réaménagement urbain, special edition, “Arabie Saoudite: Pouvoire et Société Au Royaume Al-Saud,” Moyen-Orient n. 29, Janvier-Mars 2016.

Changing Mecca Creates ‘Haves’ and ‘Have Nots,’ Interview with Rosie Bsheer, NPR’s Here and Now, September 25, 2015.

The Property Regime: Mecca and the Politics of Redevelopment in Saudi Arabia. Jadaliyya. September 8, 2015.

On Nostalgia and Material Culture in the Hijaz: An Interview with Sarah Al Abdali, Jadaliyya, November 7, 2013.

GCC and The Sacred Right to Punish. Jadaliyya. February 28, 2013.

Advocacy, Uprising, and Authoritarianism in Bahrain. Jadaliyya. January 22, 2013. 

Saudi Revolutionaries: An Interview. Jadaliyya. June 21, 2012.

Political Imaginaries in Saudi Arabia: Revolutionaries Without A Revolution. Jadaliyya and Egypt Independent. April 2, 2012.

Agency and Its Discontents: Between Al Saud’s Paternalism and the Awakening of Saudi Youth. Jadaliyya, February 25, 2011.

Saudi Arabia’s Silent Protests. Jadaliyya, January 29, 2011.

It’s Not The Morality Police, Stupid. Jadaliyya, January 17, 2011.

Chocking Mecca in the Name of Beauty and Development, Jadaliyya, October 21, 2010.

Poverty in the Oil Kingdom: An Introduction. Jadaliyya, September 30, 2010.

Kafala Politics and Domestic Labor in Saudi Arabia. Jadaliyya, September 17, 2010.


Middle East
Empires & Colonialism