Infrastructuring Geographies: Histories and Presents in and of the Middle East and North Africa

  • Amina Nolte Justus Liebig University Gießen
  • Ezgican Özdemir
Keywords: materiality, infrastructure, Middle East, North Africa


The 10th issue of Middle East – Topics and Arguments engages with infrastructure studies from an interdisciplinary perspective. It presents different empirical cases and theoretical discussions that take infrastructural formations and their effects both to the center stage and as the analytical focus. In this editorial, we first discuss two epistemic locations from which infrastructure can be studied. Then, we highlight the featured authors and the way each of them make compelling cases through the lenses of material and social infrastructures in different MENA contexts. In light of these, we argue that infrastructures, as the material conditions of modern human life, have shaped and continue to shape geographical constructs of the Middle East and North Africa. Lastly, we call for further social and historical research to investigate how infrastructural systems as material and symbolic networks of imperial expansion and exploitation have contributed to the geographical and political entities that make up the construct called MENA.

Author Biographies

Amina Nolte, Justus Liebig University Gießen

is a research associate at the Collaborative Research Center / Transregional 138 “Dynamics of Security” at the Justus Liebig University Gießen, Germany, where she is pursuing a PhD in sociology. Her dissertation deals with mobility infrastructure and securitization practices in different urban contexts in Israel and Palestine. She has researched and published on infrastructure in Jerusalem and on political and social developments in contemporary Israel. She has been a Visiting PhD Student at the Department of Social Anthropology and Sociology at Central European University, Budapest and a Visiting Fellow at the Van Leer Institute in Jerusalem.

Ezgican Özdemir

is a PhD candidate at the Department of Sociology and Social Anthropology at Central European University in Budapest, Hungary. Having done research on identity politics, anthropology of the body and image, and cultural politics in the Turkish context for her MA degree at CEU, she now pursues her research on water politics, infrastructure, and anthropology of state and sovereignty in northern Cyprus. Her tentative dissertation title is “Desiccated at Sea: Politics of Water, Governance, and Other Fluctuations in Northern Cyprus”.

How to Cite
Nolte, A., and E. Özdemir. “Infrastructuring Geographies: Histories and Presents in and of the Middle East and North Africa”. Middle East - Topics & Arguments, Vol. 10, June 2018, pp. 5-20, doi:10.17192/meta.2018.10.7794.