Marshall Watson is a doctoral student in the Department of History at Yale University. His fields of study include the Ottoman Empire and modern Middle East, modern Africa, and global environmental history.
Broadly construed, his research interests lie in environmental transformations of the Middle East and Northeast Africa during the long nineteenth century. In particular, his work investigates state interactions with untamed geographies and how such spaces are imagined or remade in service of legibility. By exploring the details of such state ventures, Marshall explicates the obscure histories and intellectual genealogies at play in the making and remaking of unproductive or dangerous geographies.
Before attending Yale, Marshall received an MA from the University of Chicago Center for Middle Eastern Studies, where he produced a thesis on Palestinian historian Ihsan al-Nimr’s Tarikh Jabal Nablus wal-Balqa’ and his inter-war era nostalgic imagining of Nablus between the 1908 Young Turk Revolution and First World War.
Originally from Georgia, he received a BA in International Affairs from Kennesaw State University where he first engaged in critical study of Middle East history and the Arabic language.