Amal Sachedina

Tri Associate Research Scholar/Lecturer
Office Phone
Green Hall 0-N-19

Amal Sachedina completed her PhD in socio-cultural anthropology and Middle East studies at the University of California, Berkeley. Her dissertation research, now a book entitled, Cultivating the Past, Living the Modern: Dynamics of Time in the Sultanate of Oman (Cornell University Press, 2021), explores the material practices of making and reflecting on the past through examining the changing functions and roles of material objects and landscapes over the course of the 20th century at a time when the last Ibadi Imamate (1913-1959) pervaded the interior of what is now the Sultanate of Oman. It is a study of how forms of history, the re-configuration of time and the institutionalization of material heritage recalibrate the Islamic tradition to requirements of modern political and moral order as part of nation building in the Sultanate of Oman. Her current research is an exploration of development of heritage practices as well as museums in Saudi Arabia, specifically in the World Heritage site of Jeddah and the Islamic pilgrimage site of Medina, their impact amongst locals and the transformative relationship between religion and politics.  Amal Sachedina has also taught at the American University, George Washington University, George Mason University and was Aga Khan visiting professor in Islamic Humanities at Brown University. She has held postdoctoral research fellowships at the National University of Singapore, George Washington University and the American Museum of Natural History. She has been the recipient of a number of fellowships including The Fulbright (IIE), The Fulbright-Hays (DDRA), Andrew Mellon Foundation, Aga Khan Foundation, the British Foundation for Arabia and the Center for Arabic Study Abroad (CASA). In fostering an inter-disciplinary approach to the study of material culture, Amal Sachedina earned a B.A. in archaeology from the University of Michigan and an M.Phil in Islamic Art and Archaeology from Oxford University and has been a research consultant for World Heritage advisory bodies such as ICOMOS (International Council for Monuments and Sites) and ICCROM (International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property).

Selected Publications


Cultivating the Past, Living the Modern:  The Politics of Time in the Sultanate of Oman. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press 2021.


“The Nature of Difference: Forging Arab Asia at the American Museum of Natural History,” in Museum Anthropology, vol. 34 (2): 142-156., 2011.

“The Nizwa Fort: Transforming Ibadi Islam through Heritage in Oman”, in Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East, vol 39 (2): 328-43, 2019.

“The Politics of Serving Coffee: The Changing Role of the Dalla (Coffee Pot) in History Making and Ethical Practices in the Sultanate of Oman”, in History and Anthropology, vol 30 (3): 233-55, 2019.

“Heritage Imagery and Temporal Space in the Sultanate of Oman: Cultivating Modes of Ethical Living through State Media” in Future Anterior (special issue on Heritage and Historic Preservation organized and edited by William Carruthers) vol. 16, no. 2, 2019.

 “Transforming Popular History in the Public Domain in the Sultanate of Oman through Heritage and Museums” for Sarina Wakefield (ed.), Museums of the Arabian Peninsula: Historical Developments and Contemporary Discourses, Routledge Press 2020.

“Cultivating the Past whilst forging a New Cosmopolitan Nationalism in the Sultanate of Oman” in Current History (Middle East issue) December 2021

 “Assimilating the Heterogeneity of Migrant Populations through a National Past: Transforming the Khoja in Post-Nationalist Oman”, accepted for publication for Fall issue, Anthropological Quarterly, vol 95, no. 4 2022.

“Currents and Counter-Currents in Governing Islamic Religiosity in the Modern State” Article for Book Forum on Religion and the Question of Sovereignty in journal, Political Theology (special forum organized by Noah Salomon) 2023.