Wendy Pearlman is an academic who studies the Middle East, but also writes popularly focused narratives that examines everyday life of people caught in the chaos of the region. Her latest book, We Crossed a Bridge and it Trembled: Voices from Syria, is a collection of interviews of Syrians displaced by the war. That book was published by Harper Collins in June, but she used some of the research in that book for peer reviewed academic papers, including research examining the role of fear in revolutionary protests. And in this conversation we alternate–much like Wendy– between her social science work and her narrative storytelling.
We get wonky, but also personal. Wendy describes how she got interested in the Middle East and how her fascination with Morocco morphed to a passion for researching and studying the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and, of course, the Arab Spring.