This panel at the Berkshire Conference on the History of Women represents a milestone—not only for the many histories of Libya but also for those of North Africa, the Middle East, and Europe and for the study of women, gender, and empire globally and comparatively. The panel demonstrated that modern Libya constitutes a zone where five empires clashed from the early twentieth century on—Ottoman, Italian, British, French, and their successors the petroleum conglomerates—and that both the Great Desert and the Mediterranean were places where empires were constructed, defeated, dismantled, and reborn. It included seven papers, covering two centuries and ranging across desert, sea, port cities, oases, and oil towns, about religion, music, education, and many kinds of violence, all of them highly but differentially gendered and mutable because subject to local as well as transregional historical forces and...

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