SOAS University of London

Department of History

Nelida Fuccaro

MA(Venice), PhD(Durham)
  • Overview
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Nelida Fuccaro
Department of History

Reader in the Modern History of the Middle East

London Middle East Institute (LMEI)


Centre for Palestine Studies (CPS)


Dr Nelida Fuccaro
Email address:
020 7898 4618
SOAS University of London
Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG
Russell Square: College Buildings
Office No:
Office Hours:
Mondays 2-4pm


Dr. Nelida Fuccaro specialises in the history of the modern Middle East with a focus on the Arab World and its frontier societies, particularly Iraq, Persian Gulf, Arabian Peninsula, Kurdistan and Iran.   She is the author of The Other Kurds: Yazidis in Colonial Iraq (IB Tauris 1999), Histories of City and State in the Persian Gulf: Manama since 1800 (Cambridge University Press 2009); editor of Histories of Oil and Urban Modernity in the Middle East (thematic issue in Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East, 2013) and Violence and the City in the Modern Middle East (forthcoming);  and co-editor of   Urban Violence in the Middle East: Changing Cityscapes in the Transition from Empire to Nation State (Berghahn, 2015).  She has also published articles on ethnicity, nationalism, colonial knowledge and port cities. Although a regional specialist Dr. Fuccaro has a keen interest in cross-regional and inter-disciplinary approaches to the study of modern Middle Eastern history and has been the recipient of several grants for international collaborative research. Between 2011 and 2014 she has led an international project on the history of public violence in modern Middle Eastern cities sponsored by the Arts and Humanities Research Council of Great Britain

Previous Mphil and PhD Students 


Lauren Banko, ‘The Invention of Palestinian Citizenship: Discourse and Practices, 1918-1937’, 2013 PhD

Tammy Elmansoury, ‘Spirituality, Islam and the State: the Origins and Disavowal of Sufism in the Ikhwan al-Muslimin’ 2012 MPhil

Roberto Mazza, 'Jerusalem In The First World War: Transitions From Ottoman To British Rule', 2008 PhD

Johan Franzen, 'The Power Of Ideas: Communism, Iraqism And Pan-Arabism In The Ideological Formation Of The Iraqi Communist Party, 1958-1979', 2009 PhD

Vivian Ibrahim, 'Modernisation, Community And State: Coptic Mobilisation In Egypt, 1882-1954', 2009 PhD

Farah Al-Nakib, 'Kuwait City: Urbanisation, the Built Environment and the Urban Experience Before and After Oil (1716-1986)', 2011 PhD

Nada Saliba, ‘The Urban History of Tripoli (Lebanon) During the French Mandate, 1920 – 1943’


PhD Students under supervision

Louis Allday, ‘British Cultural Propaganda in the Persian Gulf 1934-1971’

Talal Al-Rashoud, ‘Modern Education and the Emergence of Arab Nationalism in Kuwait and the Gulf 1911-1971’

Fadi Dawood, ‘The Making of a Warrior Race in Iraq: The Case of the Assyrians’

Matthias Freidank, ‘British Colonialism and Urban Violence in Mandatory Palestine, 1922-48’

Jacques Rouyer Guillet, ‘The Evolution of Domestic Consumer Culture in Jaffa and Tel Aviv, 1909-1969’


Programmes Convened
Courses Taught
PhD Students supervised
  • Fadi Dawood, Makings of a Warrior Race in Iraq: The Case of the Assyrians
  • Jacques Rouyer Guillet, The Evolution of Consumer Culture in the Families of Jaffa between 1920 and 1967
  • Mattin Biglari, Refining Knowledge: Expertise, Power and Labour in the Iranian Oil Industry, 1939-73


My recent and current work on public violence and oil cities in the modern Middle East reflects my long-standing interest in the history of urban spaces and societies which has been informed by comparative approaches and theoretical insights from disciplines such as urban studies and anthropology. Sponsored by an AHRC international collaborative grant and by a number of research networks on petro-urbanism, my own research has explored the impact of the development of the oil industry on urban development, violent unrest and consumer cultures in twentieth-century Kirkuk and Manama. I have also edited two volumes which bring together original case studies on violence in the cities of the Arab World, Turkey and Iran, and a thematic collection of essays on oil in urban modernity in the modern Middle East. I am also working on a new research project on the social and cultural history of the oil industry in Iraq and of the Arab states of the Persian Gulf before 1973 which looks at its role in the production of new urban lifestyles, political cultures and knowledge.


  • 2011-2014  Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and DFG (Deutsche Forschungemeinschaft), International Collaborative Research Grant for the project ‘Urban Violence in the Middle East: between Empire and Nation State’.
  • 2003-2006 Social Science Research Council (New York), International Collaborative Research Grant for the project ‘The City and the Public Sphere in the Middle East: Lebanon, Egypt and the Arab States of the Persian Gulf’.
  • 2003 British Academy Small Grant for the project ‘Urban Space and Politics in Bahrain, 1783-1970’.
  • 2002 Leverhulme Trust Research Fellowship for the project ‘Urban Space and Politics in Bahrain’.
  • 1999 Arts and Humanities Research Board Small Grant ‘Urban Space, City Networks and State Formation in 19th/20th century Manama’.


For help in contacting SOAS academics and advice on services to business and the community, please contact SOAS Enterprise on +44(0)20 7898 4837 or email
For all press and media enquiries please call +44 (0)20 7898 4135 or email

Available for
  • Radio
  • Press
  • Briefings
  • TV
  • Special Study Programmes
  • Short Term Consultancy
  • Long Term Consultancy
Regional Expertise
  • Near and Middle East
Country Expertise
  • Bahrain
  • Gaza Strip
  • Iran
  • Iraq
  • Jordan
  • Kuwait
  • Lebanon
  • Oman
  • Qatar
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Syria
  • United Arab Emirates
  • Arabic
  • French
  • Italian


Authored Books

Fuccaro, Nelida (2011) Öteki Kürtler. Sömürge Irak’inda Yazidiler (Turkish translation of The Other Kurds: Yazidis in Colonial Iraq). Istanbul: Boğaziçi Gösteri Sanatları Topluluğu.

Fuccaro, Nelida (2009) Histories of City and State in the Persian Gulf: Manama since 1800. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press (Paperback edition, 2011). (Cambridge Middle East Studies)

Fuccaro, Nelida (1999) The Other Kurds: Yazidis in Colonial Iraq. London: IB Tauris.

Fuccaro, Nelida Urban Violence in the Modern Middle: From the Imperial Age to the Arab Spring. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. (Forthcoming)

Edited Books or Journal Volumes

Fuccaro, Nelida, ed. (2016) Violence and the City in the Modern Middle East. Stanford: Stanford University Press. (In Press)

Fuccaro, Nelida and Freitag , Ulrike and Ghrawi, Claudia and Lafi, Nora, eds. (2015) Urban Violence in the Middle East: Changing Cityscapes in the Transition from Empire to Nation State. Oxford; New York: Berghahn.

Fuccaro, Nelida, ed. (2015) The Middle East in London / Iraq: People and Heritage. London: The London Middle East Institute .

Fuccaro, Nelida and Hakimian, Hassan, eds. (2014) The Middle East in London / Oil - Past, Present and Future. The London Middle East Institute, SOAS.

Fuccaro, Nelida, ed. (2013) Histories of Oil and Urban Modernity in the Middle East. Thematic issue in Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East, Vol. 33/1, 2013.

Book Chapters

Fuccaro, Nelida (2016) 'Urban Life and Questions of Violence.' In: Fuccaro, Nelida, (ed.), Violence and the City in the Modern Middle East. Stanford: Stanford University Press.

Fuccaro, Nelida (2016) 'Dissecting Public Unrest: Moments of Violence in Twenty- Century Kirkuk.' In: Fuccaro, Nelida, (ed.), Violence and the City in the Modern Middle East. Stanford: Stanford University Press.

Fuccaro, Nelida (2015) 'Knowledge at the Service of the British Empire: The Gazetteer of the Persian Gulf, Oman and Central Arabia.' In: Brandell, Inga and Carlson, Maria and Cetrez, Önver, (eds.), Borders and the Changing Boundaries of Knowledge. Istanbul: Swedish Research Institute, pp. 18-34. (Swedish Research Institute in Istanbul Transactions, Vol. 22)

Fuccaro, Nelida (2015) 'Reading Oil as Urban Violence: Kirkuk and Its Oil Conurbation.' In: Fuccaro, Nelida and Freitag, Ulrike and Ghrawi, Claudia and Lafi , Nora, (eds.), Urban Violence in the Middle East: Changing Cityscapes in the Transition from Empire to Nation State. Oxford; New York: Berghahn, pp. 222-242.

Fuccaro, Nelida (2014) 'Rethinking the History of Port Cities in the Gulf.' In: Potter, Lawrence G., (ed.), The Persian Gulf in Modern Times: People, Ports and History. New York: Palgrave Macmillan , pp. 23-46.

Fuccaro, Nelida (2011) 'The Ottoman Frontier in Kurdistan in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries.' In: Woodhead, Christine, (ed.), The Ottoman World. London: Routledge, pp. 237-250. (Routledge Worlds)

Fuccaro, Nelida (2010) 'Pearl Towns and early Oil Cities: Migration and Integration in the Arab Coast of the Persian Gulf.' In: Freitag, Ulrike and Furhmann, Malte and Lafi, Nora and Riedler, Florian, (eds.), Migration and the Making of Urban Modernity in the Ottoman Empire and Beyond. London: Routledge, pp. 99-116.

Fuccaro, Nelida (2008) 'Between imara, empire and oil: Saudis in the frontier society of the Persian Gulf.' In: Al-Rasheed, M., (ed.), Kingdom without Borders: Saudi Political, Religious and Media Frontiers. London: Hurst, pp. 39-64.

Fuccaro, Nelida (2005) 'Mapping the Transnational Community: Persians and the Space of the City in Bahrain, c. 1869-1937.' In: Al-Rasheed, M., (ed.), Transnational Connections and the Arab Gulf. Routledge, pp. 39-58.

Fuccaro, Nelida (2004) 'Minorities and Ethnic Mobilisation: The Kurds in Northern Iraq and Syria.' In: Meouchy, N. and Sluggett, P., (eds.), The British and French Mandates in Comparative Perspectives. Brill, pp. 579-595.

Fuccaro, Nelida (2002) 'Tunisia in the British Archives: the Public Record Office.' In: Temimi, A and M.S.Omri, , (eds.), Tunisia in the British Archives: the Public Record Office. Foundation Temimi pour la Recherche Scientifique et l'Information, Zaghouan (Tunisia), pp. 97-103.

Fuccaro, Nelida (2002) 'Kurds and Kurdish Nationalism in Mandatory Syria: Politics, Culture and Identity.' In: Vali, A., (ed.), Essays on the Origins of Kurdish Nationalism. Costa Mesa, US: Mazda, pp. 191-217.

Fuccaro, Nelida (2002) 'Tribes, Religions and State in Early Modern Iraq: the case of the Yazidi Kurds.' In: F.A.Jabar, and H.Dawood, , (eds.), Tribes and Power: Nationalism and Ethnicity in the Middle East. SAQI (London).

Fuccaro, Nelida (1997) 'Die Kurden Syriens: Anfänge der nationalen Mobilisierung unter französischen Herrschaft.' In: Borck, C. and Savelsberg, A. and Hajo, S., (eds.), Ethnizität, Nationalismus, Religion und Politik in Kurdistan. Münster: LIT Verlag, pp. 64-70.


Fuccaro, Nelida (2013) 'Shaping the Urban Life of Oil in Bahrain; Consumerism, Leisure and Public Communication in Manama and in the Oil camps, 1932-1960s.' Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East, 33 (1). pp. 59-74.

Fuccaro, Nelida (2013) 'Urban Studies in the Arabian Peninsula: Six Thoughts on the Field.' Arabian Humanities (2).

Fuccaro, Nelida (2010) 'The Making of Gulf Ports Before Oil.' Liwa. Journal of the National Centre for Documentation and Research, 2 (3). pp. 19-32.

Fuccaro, Nelida (2004) 'Indigenous State Traditions and Urbanism in the Islands of Bahrain, 1602-1932.' Eurasian Studies, 3 (2). pp. 245-63.

Fuccaro, Nelida (2003) 'Ethnicity and the City: the Kurdish Quarter of Damascus between Ottoman and French Rule, c. 1724-1946.' Urban History, 30 (2). pp. 206-224.

Fuccaro, Nelida (2002) 'The Cities in the Gulf: a Challenge to Modernity?' Eurorient, Specia. pp. 64-70.

Fuccaro, Nelida (2001) 'Urban Studies of the Gulf: Visions of the City.' Bulletin of the Middle East Studies Association of North America, vol. 3. pp. 175-188.

Fuccaro, Nelida (2000) 'Understanding the Urban History of Bahrain.' Journal of Critical Studies of the Middle East (Critique), 17/2. pp. 49-81.

Fuccaro, Nelida (1999) 'Islam and Urban Space: Ma’tams in Bahrain before Oil.' Newsletter of the Institute for the Study of Islam in the Modern World (ISIM), 3. p. 12.

Fuccaro, Nelida (1999) 'Communalism and the State in Iraq: the Yazidi Kurds (c. 1869-1940).' Middle Eastern Studies, 35 (2). pp. 1-26.

Fuccaro, Nelida (1998) 'The Kurds of Syria (in Kurdish).' Havibun, 2 (3). pp. 74-99.

Fuccaro, Nelida (1997) 'Ethnicity, State Formation and Conscription in Postcolonial Iraq: the Case of the Yazidi Kurds of Jabal Sinjar.' International Journal of Middle East Studies, 29 (4). pp. 559-580.

Fuccaro, Nelida (1995) 'The Kurds of Jabal Sinjar (in Arabic).' al-Thaqafah al-Jadidah, 265 (8-9). pp. 89-100.

Fuccaro, Nelida (1993) 'A 17th century travel account on the Yazidis: implications for a socio-religious history.' Annali dell'Istituto Orientale di Napoli, 53 (3). pp. 241-253.

Book Reviews

Fuccaro, Nelida (2014) 'Review of Enemy on the Euphrates: the British Occupation of Iraq and the Great Arab Revolt, 1914-1921 by Ian Rutledge.' BBC History Magazine, 15 (9). pp. 70-71.

Fuccaro, Nelida (2012) 'Review of The Margins of Empire: Kurdish Militias in the Ottoman Tribal Zone by Janet Klein.' Middle Eastern Studies, 48 (3). pp. 483-485.

Fuccaro, Nelida (2012) 'Review of 'The Persian Gulf in History' by Lawrence G. Potter.' Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, 75 (2). pp. 395-396.

Fuccaro, Nelida (2011) 'Review of Eugene Rogan,'The Arabs: A History'.' BBC History Magazine, 12 (5). p. 71.

Fuccaro, Nelida (2011) 'Review of Yasser Elsheshtawy (ed.), 'Planning Middle Eastern Cities. An Urban Kaleidoscope in a Globalising World' Planning Middle Eastern Cities. An urban Kaleidoscope in a Globalising World. London: Routledge, 2004, 210pp.' Urban history, 38 (1). pp. 203-204.

Fuccaro, Nelida (2010) 'Review of Peter Sluglett ed., 'The Urban Social History of the Middle East 1750-1950'.' The Middle East Journal, 64 (3). pp. 499-500.

Fuccaro, Nelida (2010) 'Review of 'Red Sea Citizens: Cosmopolitan Society and Cultural Change in Massawa' by Jonathan Miran.' The American Historical Review, 115 (5). pp. 1558-1559.

Fuccaro, Nelida (2009) 'The Arabian Frontier of the British Raj. Merchants, Rulers and British in the Nineteenth-Century Gulf.' Reviews in History .

Fuccaro, Nelida (2009) 'Review of 'A Companion to the History of the Modern Middle East' edited by Youssef Choueiri.' Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, 72 (2). pp. 396-397.

This list was generated on Sun Apr 30 03:13:15 2017 BST.