Visiting Doctoral Fellow
Laith Shakir is a Ph.D. candidate in the joint History and Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies program at New York University.
Archaeology, Development, and Tourism in Modern Iraq, 1920-1945
Archaeology, Development, and Tourism in Modern Iraq, 1920-1945 offers an alternate, comprehensive view of the country’s interwar archaeology by moving from a focus on the state-centric politics of excavations towards a global cultural history of Iraqi antiquities. Specifically, it connects the history of archaeology to two crucial yet underdiscussed spheres in the interwar period: tourism promotion and development. It investigates the relationship between British colonial policies, archaeological discourse and practice, the creation of mechanized transportation infrastructure, regional and global tourism promotion campaigns, and ideas about Iraq’s economic development. While at the OIB, my research will focus on regional cultural production—from periodicals like ‘Isa Iskandar al-Ma’luf’s magazine al-Athar, to postcards, guidebooks, and other explicitly promotional tourist media—and reception among transregional Arab publics. This research shows how journalists, scholars, and tourism promoters framed Iraq’s ancient past, and how they in turn shaped both Iraqi and broader Arab discourses about archaeological heritage.
Shakir, Laith: Bell, Gertrude , in: 1914-1918-online. International Encyclopedia of the First World War, ed. by Ute Daniel, Peter Gatrell, Oliver Janz, Heather Jones, Jennifer Keene, Alan Kramer, and Bill Nasson, issued by Freie Universität Berlin, Berlin 2022-07-21. DOI: 10.15463/ie1418.11608.