Field: Modern Middle East
Advisor: Rashid Khalidi
Natasha Pesaran is a second-year Ph.D. student specializing in the history of the modern Middle East. She studies the establishment and development of the oil industry in Iraq and the Levant after the First World War. She is particularly interested in the role of Western oil companies in the region, their changing relationships with governments and the socio-political and technical worlds created by oil infrastructure. For the dissertation, she hopes to write a political and social history of the oil pipelines that were built to transport Iraq’s oil to the Mediterranean.
Before beginning the doctoral program at Columbia, Natasha received a B.A. in History and an M.Phil in Historical Studies with Distinction from the University of Cambridge. Her M.Phil dissertation focused on violence and the end of the British Mandate of Palestine.