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Frederick Wojnarowski (2016)

Frederick Wojnarowski (2016)

Research Title - Settling the desert: narratives of Bedouin sedenterisation and identity formation in Jordan

Supervisor - Professor David Sneath


Having read Archaeology and Anthropology at Oxford, I went on to SOAS, obtaining an MA in Anthropology and International Development in 2011. I became interested in the ethnography and history of the Middle East, in part through studying under two leading anthropologists of the region, Dr Paul Dresch and Dr Magnus Marsden. My MA thesis focused on the Bedul Bedouin of Petra, who had been resettled to a permanent Government-built village to make way for the development of mass tourism in Petra, which at the same time was rapidly replacing herding as their main economic activity. I originally intended to look at the role of tourism in social change, but came to focus on the fraught ways Bedul narratives conceived of and contested sedenterisation and the increase in the intensity of engagement with the Jordanian state and the wider world entailed. After a four year break working in various development and policy roles, I am excited to further pursue research interest at Cambridge.  In my PhD project I will take a wider and deeper look at narratives around the ‘end of nomadism’ - particularly focusing on the emergence of an ideology of pacification and enforced sedenterisation emerging under colonial regimes in the inter-war period, such as the British Mandate in Transjordan, and the Italian war with the Sanussi order in Cyrenaica, Libya.

Research Interests

Nomadism, oral history, nationalism, colonial history, political ecology, the anthropology of history and colonial archives, international development.