Marwa Koheji

Grant Type

Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Institutional Affiliation

North Carolina, Chapel Hill, U. of

Grant number

Gr. 9909

Approve Date

October 25, 2019

Project Title

Koheji, Marwa (North Carolina, Chapel Hill, U. of) "Staying Cool in Bahrain: Heat, Air-Conditioning, and Everyday Comfort"

Escalating concerns about global warming and the spread of energy-intensive, cooling technologies have led to interest in experiences of thermal comfort. This project addresses this phenomenon by examining how air-conditioning (AC) as an infrastructure shapes life in Bahrain, along class and gender lines. Bahrain is known for its hot and long summers, when most people use AC to cool themselves. While explanations of AC use often presume high temperatures to be the only factor motivating the adoption of this technology, this project complicates such understandings by interrogating how class and gender values and practices can be enmeshed with the use of this machine. Drawing on the methods of participant-observation, interviews, sensory diaries and archival research, this project investigates three key aspects of air-conditioning use in Bahrain: everyday experiences of cooling and heat exposure among low, middle, and upper-income Bahraini families, the material form and infrastructure of air-conditioning, and the historical introduction and spread of air-conditioning in Bahrain.