The 2024 Arizona Author Series Goes to the Desert

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Dr. Natalie Koch to present about Arid Empire: The Entangled Fates of Arizona and Arabia

Phoenix – Dr. Natalie Koch will speak about her book, Arid Empire: The Entangled Fates of Arizona and Arabia, as part of the State of Arizona Research Library’s 2024 Arizona Author Series.

The talk is at 12 p.m. MST, Thursday, March 14th, and will be held virtually on Zoom. Attendees are encouraged to register at to receive the link to the presentation. After the talk, there will be time for questions from the audience.
This presentation will be recorded and made available on our YouTube channel ( Registered attendees will receive a link to the recording once it is available. 
Secretary of State Adrian Fontes shared, “This month’s Arizona Author Series presentation reminds us that the Arizona Desert is interconnected with the world. Whether you’ve already visited Hi-Jolly’s tomb or are new to the desert, Arid Empire has something to teach all of us about our state’s growth.” 

What is the connection between the Arabian Peninsula and the United States? It may surprise some to learn that the two deserts are inextricably connected. From camel corps during 1850s to farming date palms to science fiction classics such as Dune, Dr. Koch uncovers how these “arid empires” are sites of political, economic, and cultural exchange between countries on opposite sides of the globe. 

You can read and listen to books about the history and culture of Arizona for free on Reading Arizona.

Natalie Koch is Professor of Geography at Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, and is currently a Fellow at the Wilson Center. She is a political geographer who works on geopolitics, empire, and state power, especially in the Arabian Peninsula. Following her first monograph, The Geopolitics of Spectacle: Space, Synecdoche, and the New Capitals of Asia (Cornell University Press, 2018), her second monograph, Arid Empire: The Entangled Fates of Arizona and Arabia, was published with Verso in January 2023.

This is a virtual presentation. For more information, contact the State of Arizona Research Library at 602-926-3870 or visit the website at ( The library also provides information on Facebook (, Instagram ( and Twitter/X (

This program is supported by the Arizona State Library, Archives & Public Records, a division of the Secretary of State, with federal funds from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.


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