Kanwal Hameed


I am an inter-disciplinary historian with a background in Middle East Studies, and currently a research fellow on the Mapping Connections project at the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies (IAIS), University of Exeter. Prior to this I was a Visiting Postdoctoral Fellow at the Orient Institut Beirut, and I received my PhD from the Institute of Arab and Islamic Affairs (IAIS) University of Exeter, UK in 2022.

My work focusses on mid-20th century national, anti-colonial and anti-imperial leftist movements, with a particular interest in an intergenerational Gulf radical tradition – read within and through its regional and global entanglements. The trajectories of sub-altern social actors and marginalised social groups are at the heart of my research, and I work with a rich archival expanse to integrate multiple layers of micro-histories into the history of the region, read within the scope of global history.

The work of Stuart Hall has been important to my research in the way that it challenges the divide between Marxism and Postcolonialism, and I draw on his thinking to better understand race, racialisation and decolonisation in the Gulf. I hope to join and contributes to the emerging academic discussion around racial capitalism in the Gulf and the broader MENA region.

I have published: 

  • “Where Are the Revolutionary Women of West Asia and North Africa?” co-authored with Sara Salem, Eds. Marral Shamshiri-Fard & Sorcha Thomson, London (Pluto Press: 2023)
  • (In Arabic) “Tarikh al-‘Amal wa Mas’ala-t al-Tabaqa: Dirasat Hala-t al-Kuwait” (Histories of Labour and Questions of Class: Case Study Kuwait), 8 August 2023, Al-Sifr. Eds. Mohammed Zbeeb and Viviane Akiki, accessible via:  
  • “Halwa, Mahyawa and Multiple Registers of Life in the Gulf”, Archive Stories, 20 July 2023. Eds. Mai Taha and Sara Salem, accessible via:
  • “One Struggle, Many Fronts: The National Union of Kuwaiti Students and Palestine”, Eds. Sorcha Thompson & Pelle Olsen, International Solidarity with the Palestinian Revolution (1965-1982), London (IB Tauris: 2022)
  • “Toward a liberation pedagogy” co-authored with Katie Natanel and Amal Khalaf, Kohl Anticolonial Feminisms January 2023  
  • “The Quiet Emergency: Experiences and Understandings of Climate Change in Kuwait” co-authored with Deen Shariff Sharp, Abrar Alshammari, Kuwait Programme Paper Series, LSE Middle East Centre (13) 2021.