Faculty Experts

Natalie Koch

Professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies

Professor Koch is a political geographer focusing on geopolitics, nationalism and identity politics, the state system, and authoritarianism. Her research investigates how authoritarian regimes and power relations are reproduced through sites of pleasure and opportunity, rather than just violence and oppression. Empirically, she focuses on the Arabian Peninsula, where she studies the many transnational ties that bind the Gulf countries, actors, and ideas to other parts of the world.

Her area of expertise includes political geography, nationalism, geopolitics, authoritarianism, and Gulf and Arabian Peninsula studies.

She is the author of “Arid Empire: The Entangled Fates of Arizona and Arabia” which offers a new perspective teaches us to see deserts anew, not as mythic sites of romance or empty wastelands but as an “arid empire,” a crucial political space where imperial dreams coalesce.

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