About Maggie Freeman

Maggie Freeman is a PhD candidate in History, Theory, and Criticism of Art and Architecture and the Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Her research interests encompass the histories and material cultures of nomadism, the uses of architecture by nomadic peoples, and historical interactions of empires and nomadic populations. Her primary focus is on how the built environment of the Middle East is experienced and shaped by nomadic peoples.

Maggie Freeman is a PhD candidate in the School of Architecture at MIT. She researches uses of architecture by nomadic peoples and historical interactions of nomads and empires, with a focus on the modern Middle East.

Maggie's website

NBN Episodes hosted by Maggie:

Nicholas Morton, "The Crusader States and their Neighbours: A Military History, 1099-1187" (Oxford UP, 2020)

January 22, 2024

The Crusader States and their Neighbours

Nicholas Morton
Hosted by Maggie Freeman

Nicholas Morton’s The Crusader States and their Neighbours: A Military History, 1099-1187 (Oxford UP, 2020) explores the military history of the medie…

Adriana Helbig, "ReSounding Poverty: Romani Music and Development Aid" (Oxford UP, 2023)

January 19, 2024

ReSounding Poverty

Adriana Helbig
Hosted by Maggie Freeman

Adriana Helbig's book ReSounding Poverty: Romani Music and Development Aid (Oxford University Press, 2023) offers a micro ethnography of economic netw…

Empires of the Steppes: A History of the Nomadic Tribes Who Shaped Civilisation

December 2, 2023

Empires of the Steppes

Kenneth W. Harl
Hosted by Maggie Freeman

The “barbarian” nomads of the Eurasian steppes have played a decisive role in world history, but their achievements have gone largely unnoticed. These…

The Secret History of the Mongols: An Interview with Chris Atwood

September 24, 2023

The Secret History of the Mongols

Chris Atwood
Hosted by Maggie Freeman

The Secret History of the Mongols is one of the literary wonders of the world. Writing in the thirteenth century, the Secret Historian - whose identit…

Archaeology and Nomadism in the Russian Empire: An interview with Ismael Biyashev

July 29, 2023

Archaeology and Nomadism in the Russian Empire

Ismael Biyashev
Hosted by Maggie Freeman

In the second half of the 19th century, both professional and amateur archaeologists, surveyors, and explorers of the “periphery” of the Russian Empi…

Mongol Nomadism, Mongol Identity, and the Fall of the Mongol Empire

June 25, 2023

Mongol Nomadism, Mongol Identity, and the Fall of the Mongol Empire

Nicholas Morton
Hosted by Maggie Freeman
Listen:

In part two of our conversation about his book The Mongol Storm: Making and Breaking Empires in the Medieval Near East (Basic Books, 2022), Nicholas M…

Constant’s “New Babylon": An Interview with Jérémie McGowan

June 21, 2023

Constant’s “New Babylon"

Jérémie McGowan
Hosted by Maggie Freeman
Listen:

“New Babylon” is an architectural and urban planning project designed by the Dutch artist Constant Nieuwenhuys between 1959 and 1974 in response to ce…

Nora Barakat, "Bedouin Bureaucrats: Mobility and Property in the Ottoman Empire" (Stanford UP, 2023)

June 16, 2023

Bedouin Bureaucrats

Nora Barakat
Hosted by Maggie Freeman
Listen:

In the late 19th century, the Ottoman government sought to fill landscapes they legally defined as "empty." Both land and people were incorporated int…

Hiking Trails, Sustainable Tourism, and Bedouin Heritage

June 7, 2023

Hiking Trails, Sustainable Tourism, and Bedouin Heritage

Ben Hoffler
Hosted by Maggie Freeman
Listen:

Ben Hoffler is the co-founder of several hiking trails in the Middle East, including the Sinai Trail, the Red Sea Mountain Trail, the Wadi Rum Trail, …

Selcen Küçüküstel, "Embracing Landscape: Living with Reindeer and Hunting among Spirits in South Siberia" (Berghahn, 2021)

May 22, 2023

Embracing Landscape

Selcen Küçüküstel
Hosted by Maggie Freeman

Examining human-animal relations among the reindeer hunting and herding Dukha community in northern Mongolia, Embracing Landscape: Living with Reindee…

Jonan Pilet, "Nomad, Nomad" (Bound to Brew, 2021)

April 3, 2023

Nomad, Nomad

Jonan Pilet
Hosted by Maggie Freeman

In his debut short story collection, Nomad, Nomad (Bound to Brew, 2021), Jonan Pilet explores the lives of Mongols and expats looking for a sense of h…

The Transformation of Livestock Herding in Socialist Mongolia

March 31, 2023

The Transformation of Livestock Herding in Socialist Mongolia

Kenny Linden
Hosted by Maggie Freeman

Between 1956 and 1960, leaders in the Mongolian People’s Republic embarked on a collectivization campaign to change the way in which Mongolians intera…

The Transformation of Livestock Herding in Socialist Mongolia

March 31, 2023

The Transformation of Livestock Herding in Socialist Mongolia

Kenny Linden
Hosted by Maggie Freeman

Between 1956 and 1960, leaders in the Mongolian People’s Republic embarked on a collectivization campaign to change the way in which Mongolians intera…

Jangar: The Heroic Epic of the Kalmyk Nomads

February 13, 2023

Jangar: The Heroic Epic of the Kalmyk Nomads

Saga Bougdaeva
Hosted by Maggie Freeman

Saga Bougdaeva is the translator of the first English version of Jangar (University of California Press, 2023), the heroic epic of the Kalmyk nomads. …

Star Wars: Andor’s Aldhani and its Real-World Parallels

February 10, 2023

Star Wars: Andor’s Aldhani and its Real-World Parallels

Kenneth E. Linden
Hosted by Maggie Freeman

In this episode, Dr. Kenny Linden, an environmental and animal historian of Mongolia and Inner Asia, joins me to discuss the Disney+ Star Wars prequel…

Kobi Peled, "Words Like Daggers: The Political Poetry of the Negev Bedouin" (Brill, 2022)

January 27, 2023

Words Like Daggers: The Political Poetry of the Negev Bedouin

Kobi Peled
Hosted by Maggie Freeman

For generations, the composition and recitation of poetry has been a key mode of expression among Bedouin populations in the Middle East, reflecting s…

Gillian Tan, "Pastures of Change: Contemporary Adaptations and Transformations among Nomadic Pastoralists of Eastern Tibet" (Springer, 2018)

January 24, 2023

Pastures of Change

Gillian G. Tan
Hosted by Maggie Freeman

Tibetan nomads have developed a way of life that is dependent in multiple ways on their animals and shaped by the phenomenological experience of mobil…

The Sámi in "Frozen" (Part 2)

January 12, 2023

The Sámi in "Frozen" (Part 2)

Niina Niskanen
Hosted by Maggie Freeman

The traditional folklore and animistic beliefs of the Sámi, the Indigenous nomadic peoples of northern Sweden, Norway, Finland, and Russia, are under-…

The Sámi in "Frozen" (Part 1)

January 11, 2023

The Sámi in "Frozen" (Part 1)

Aili Keskitalo
Hosted by Maggie Freeman

Despite the box-office and critical success of Walt Disney Animation Studios' 2013 film Frozen, it also drew criticism and backlash for how it incorpo…

The Fremen in "Dune"

January 10, 2023

The Fremen in "Dune"

Kara Kennedy
Hosted by Maggie Freeman

Despite being set in the distant future on a remote desert planet, the story of resource extraction, power, politics, ecology, and religion told in Fr…

Romani Representation in Pop Culture

January 9, 2023

Romani Representation in Pop Culture

Vicente Rodriguez Fernandez
Hosted by Maggie Freeman

Roma figures have been an essential part of European folklore, myths, and literary traditions for centuries, with writers from Cervantes to Shakespear…

Roma in the Medieval Islamic World

January 8, 2023

Roma in the Medieval Islamic World

Kristina Richardson
Hosted by Maggie Freeman

Medieval Arabic sources are full of references to the Banu Sasan (Sons of Sasan) and the Ghuraba' (Strangers), an enigmatic but captivating group who …

Bordering the Bedouin

January 7, 2023

Bordering the Bedouin

Hosted by Maggie Freeman

Contemporary issues like the refugee crisis, climate refugees, and global restrictions on movement caused by the COVID-19 pandemic have brought into s…

Pastoralism and French Environmental Policy in the Mediterranean

January 6, 2023

Pastoralism and French Environmental Policy in the Mediterranean

Andrea Duffy
Hosted by Maggie Freeman

For most of human history, the Mediterranean was home to a significant number of pastoralists, who herded livestock along seasonal migratory routes. T…