About

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I am a researcher and lecturer (Assistant Professor) at Exeter University’s Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies.

I received my BA in Journalism, Film and Broadcasting from Cardiff University in 2006, and a CASAW-funded MSc in Arab World Studies from the University of Durham in 2010.  I recently completed my PhD (funded by the AHRC/ESRC) in 2016 at Durham, where I wrote an interdisciplinary thesis on the history of political repression in Bahrain. I am pleased to say that my thesis then won the 2016 dissertation prize from the Association for Gulf and Arabian Peninsula Studies.

I have spent much of my childhood in Bahrain, and have also lived elsewhere in the Middle East, including Saudi Arabia, Sudan, and Syria. Driven by issues of social justice and a specific area interest in the Gulf, my research spans a number of topics, from historical revisions, postcolonialism, de-democratization and revolutionary cultural production, to policing, digital authoritarianism and human rights.  I am particularly interested in strategies of control that affect people’s life chances in the service of elite power maintenance.  Prior to joining Exeter I won a Teach at Tuebingen award, and wrote and delivered an MA module in Gulf Politics at Tuebingen University’s Institute for Political Science.

At the moment, I am working a number of topics, including propaganda and Twitter bots, mapping sectarian hate speech, and archival work related to Bahrain and land appropriation.

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8 comments

  1. I’ve just come across your blog and twitter account and can see that you’ve grown up in Bahrain as an expat, from your name, I have a string feeling you may originally be Welsh? If I am wrong, then I’m so sorry for contacting you! If by any chance I am right, I was wondering if you would mind me getting in contact? I am welsh myself, and hoping to move to Bahrain this summer, advice, words of wisdom, would all be most welcomed! Hope this sin’t too random!

    Shannon

  2. Pete Lewis says:

    Marc,

    Great to find your writing on Bahrain. I’m also originally from Wales and was in Bahrain from about age nine to eighteen (1985-93ish). Anyway, I live in the US now and have written a few pieces over the years about expat culture and Bahraini politics and self-published a few (maga)zines that dealt with this subject matter. What era were you there? Just thought I’d write to say hello and keep up the good work. Here’s a piece, I wrote back in 2004 about my time in Bahrain. http://foulweather.blogspot.com/2011/03/confessions-of-guilty-expat.html

    Cheers

    Pete

    • Hi Pete,

      Great to hear from. I actually remember reading that blog you wrote a couple of years ago. I think it was in 2011 when Fahad recommended it on Twitter. It wis brilliant. I keep meaning to write more about my experiences there but my blog has turned into more of an academic outlet – that’s not to say I won’t do it of course.

      I think you hit the nail on the head with your descriptions of Bahrain. It’s refreshing to have such an honest appraisal, and one that is so well written. Did you have it published elsewhere?

      I moved to Bahrain in about 1988, and was schooled there until about 2001. As you can tell from my name, I’m also from Wales. Dad is from Baglan – between Neath and Port Talbot.Thought it was funny you mentioned Mumbles, as I go there most summers. Going there at the beginning of September actually.

  3. Pete Lewis says:

    Marc,

    Thanks and I’m glad some people got to read it. I have written various versions for a few smaller publications out here, along with some stories about being an expat kid during the first Gulf War. I’m currently working on a book length version. Sort of a coming of age, political awakening memoir tied in with the politics of the country. I shall be checking in with your work frequently.

    All the best,

    Pete

  4. Al-khalij Al-Farsi says:

    Its called PERSIAN GULF. Stop trying to erase Iranian history you filth. How could you ever get a PHd i dont know.

  5. Abdulla Al Khalifa says:

    The top of the blog says Persian Gulf. You calling him filth and insulting his intelligence and PHD comes off as insecure.

    I enjoy your writing Marc and I’m glad you attempt to source many things like on the oil article. I just hope you remain objective.

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