Laura Stocker


Since September 2018, I am a PhD student in the research project “Towards a Decentred History of the Middle East: Transborder Space, Circulations, Frontier Effects and State Formation, 1920-1946“ (BORDER), funded by the European Research Council, under the supervision of Professor Jordi Tejel at the History Department of the University of Neuchâtel.

Within this framework my project focuses on the Bedouin tribes of the desert borderlands between Iraq, Syria and Transjordan from the late 1920s to the post-WWII period. Looking at the influence of droughts, my research seeks to (re-)examine the interactions between modern practices of territorial governance, environmental crises, and the pastoral economy of the Bedouin tribes in the Middle East. In doing so, the project explores the entanglements between the environment, new-state borders and imperial policing of the human and non-human inhabitants of the desert borderlands as well as their spaces of agency.

I received my BA in Islamic Studies and Modern History at the University of Basel in 2013, and then attended the University of Bern, where I completed an MA thesis on modern colonial history of Middle East and North Africa in 2018. In Bern, I also worked as a research assistant at the Institute of Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies. Throughout those years, I have spent several months in the Middle East, mainly in Iran and Lebanon where I studied (Colloquial) Arabic and Farsi.

Since June 2019 I am also an associated doctoral student at the 'Institut français du Proche-Orient' (ifpo). www.ifporient.org/laura-stocker/

Doctorante ERC BORDER

Espace Tilo Frey 1
CH-2000 Neuchâtel


Research Areas

  • Contemporary History of the Middle East
  • State formation and Borders
  • Bedouin tribes
  • Environmental history


M.A. Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Bern