Crown Center for Middle East Studies

Spaceship in the Desert: Energy, Climate Change, and Urban Design in Abu Dhabi

A Brown Bag Seminar with Gökçe Günel

November 6, 2019
Missed the seminar? Watch it here.

In 2006, Abu Dhabi launched an ambitious project to construct the world’s first zero-carbon city: Masdar City. In this talk, Gökçe Günel will discuss her recent book, Spaceship in the Desert, which examines the development and construction of Masdar City's renewable energy and clean technology infrastructures and provides an illuminating portrait of an international group of engineers, designers, and students who attempted to build a post-oil future in Abu Dhabi. Spaceship in the Desert tells the story of Masdar, at once a "utopia" sponsored by the Emirati government, and a well-resourced company involving different actors who participated in the project, each with their own agendas and desires.

Gökçe Günel is a sabbatical fellow at the Crown Center and an assistant professor in anthropology at Rice University.

Co-sponsored by the Islamic and Middle Eastern studies program, Environmental studies program, International and Global studies program, and the Department of Anthropology