Firat Oruc (Moderator)
Firat Oruc is the Associate Teaching Professor of Culture and Theory at Georgetown University. At GU-Q, he is co-lead of the Energy Humanities Research Initiative at the Center for International and Regional Studies and Director of the Certificate in Media and Politics program. He is also the recipient of research grants from the Qatar National Research Fund, the Doyle Engaging Difference Program, and the Teaching, Learning, and Innovation Summer Institute. He has served as a visiting assistant professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of California, Los Angeles, and a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in the Comparative Literary Studies program at Northwestern University.
Jumanah Abbas is an architect, a writer, and a curator, working through an ecology of interdisciplinarity that engages with architecture debates, concepts and dialogues. Jumanah works through collaborative projects with institutes and universities such as “Mapping Memories of Resistance: The Untold Story of the Occupation of the Golan Heights” a project in collaboration with London School of Economics, Birzeit University, and Al Marsad Arab Human Rights Center in Golan Heights. Her projects include spatial design for Tasmeem Doha 2022 biennial by VCUarts Qatar. She is currently working with Qatar Museums’ Rubaiyat Qatar, a multi-site art exhibition opening in 2026, and on an upcoming “I Had Come from the Sea” publication with the Palestinian Museum.
Nelida Fuccaro is Professor of Middle Eastern History and Associate Dean of Graduate studies at NYU Abu Dhabi. Although a specialist on the Arab World, she has a keen interest in cross-regional and inter-disciplinary approaches to the study of oil societies and energy cultures, urban history, public violence, and historical borderlands. Her recent research investigates the diverse histories of visual, material and public cultures of oil in the Middle East and is located at the intersection of History, Social and Visual Anthropology, the Energy Humanities, and Science and Technology Studies. She has edited with Mandana Limbert Life Worlds of Middle Eastern Oil: Histories and Ethnographies of Black Gold (Edinburgh University Press, 2023) and is the guest editor of the thematic contribution Histories of Oil and Urban Modernity in the Middle East an issue of Comparative Studies in South Asia, Africa and the Middle East (2013). She is currently writing a monograph on the material and public worlds of petroleum in the twentieth-century Middle East, and she is one of the founders of the collective OCMELA (Oil Cultures of the Middle East and South America), an interdisciplinary group that brings together area studies specialists bridging academic and artistic research.
Natalie Koch is a Professor in the Department of Geography and the Environment at Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. She is a political geographer working on geopolitics, nationalism, and state power in the resource-rich states of the Arabian Peninsula. She is the author of Arid Empire: The Entangled Fates of Arizona and Arabia (Verso 2022), The Geopolitics of Spectacle: Space, Synecdoche, and the New Capitals of Asia (Cornell University Press, 2018), as well as editor of several books, including most recently, Spatializing Authoritarianism (Syracuse University Press 2022).