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Middle East Studies for the New MilleniuInfrastructures of Knowledge$
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Seteney Shami and Cynthia Miller-Idriss

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781479827787

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479827787.001.0001

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The Interdisciplinary Spatial Turn and the Discipline of Geography in Middle East Studies

The Interdisciplinary Spatial Turn and the Discipline of Geography in Middle East Studies

(p.152) Chapter Four The Interdisciplinary Spatial Turn and the Discipline of Geography in Middle East Studies
Middle East Studies for the New Milleniu

Amy Mills

Timur Hammond

NYU Press

This chapter begins with a brief survey of the literature that constitutes the present spatial turn in Middle East studies (MES). This review has two aims: to examine the (often undertheorized or loosely defined) understandings of space at work in MES research and to explore the central or emerging research interests in MES developed by this spatial turn. The chapter then considers the theories of space discernible in research on the Middle East for many decades before the present spatial turn. It argues that not only does an interest in space have a far longer history in MES than recent critical research lets on, but that attention to this issue is important because it illuminates the ways in which evolving understandings of space accompany changing research agendas and, possibly, new theoretical, methodological, or conceptual assumptions in the interdisciplinary arena of MES more generally. Next, the chapter discusses questions of disciplinarity, particularly in relation to geography, and the ways in which disciplinary and institutional histories have shaped the contours of the spatial turn in Middle East area studies. It concludes by identifying new directions for research.

Keywords:   Middle East studies, MES research, spatial turn, space, disciplinarity, geography, institutional history

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