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The Ethics of Imagery: Heritage Practices in the Sultanate of Oman


Institute For Middle East Studies

Since its inception as a nation state from 1970, Oman’s expanding heritage industry and market for crafts and site fashions a distinctly national geography and a territorial imaginary. Material forms, and their circulation through institutional techniques of education and mass publicity that cultivates every-day civic virtues, new modes of religiosity and forms of marking time, defining the ethical actions necessary to becoming an Omani modern through the framework of tradition. In this lecture, Amal Sachedina explains how constructions of heritage in Oman as an iterable mode of representation generates a conception of history that leads to a distinctive Omani modernity and way of life.


  • Amal Sachedina is a postdoctoral research fellow at the Institute for Middle East Studies at George Washington University. She is a former research fellow at the Middle East Institute, National University of Singapore (August 2015-Dec 2016) and was also the Aga Khan Visiting Professor for the Islamic Humanities at Brown University (Sep 2014-Aug 2015). She completed her doctoral degree in socio-cultural anthropology in December 2013 at UC Berkeley. Her research, now a book project, explores the material practices of making and reflecting on the past through examining the changing functions and roles of material objects and landscapes over the course of the 20th century at a time when the last Ibadi Imamate (1913-1959) pervaded the interior of what is now the Sultanate of Oman.