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Victoria Hightower, Ph.D.

Title: Associate Professor, History
Phone: 706-867-2561

Office: Barnes Hall, 328, Dahlonega
View CV
Areas of Expertise: Middle east history, Persian Gulf history, pearl trade, gender studies, environmental history, nationalism, heritage studies


Dr. Victoria Hightower earned her Ph.D. in 2011 from Florida State University. Her research focuses on the pearl trade, history and heritage in the United Arab Emirates 1800-present. She teaches courses on world history, Middle East history, gender studies, and environmental history.

Courses Taught

HIST 1112 World Civilization since 1500, HIST 1112 SLIP World Civilization since 1500 in Arabic, HIST 2140 History of Gender and Sexuality, HIST 3400 Modern Middle East History, HIST 4200 Special Topics: Nationalism in the Middle East, HIST 4200 Special Topics: Persian Gulf History, HIST 4810 Special Topics: Gender and Sexuality in the Middle East, HIST 4810 Special Topics: Global Environmental History


  • Ph.D, History, Florida State University, 2011
  • M.A., Near Eastern Studies, University of Arizona, 2006
  • M.A., History, Florida State University, 2004

Research/Special Interests

Middle East History, Persian Gulf History, Pearl Trade, Gender Studies, Environmental History, Nationalism, Heritage Studies.



Hightower, Victoria Penziner. “Heritage Industries and the UAE’s and Qatar’s Quest for Regional Cultural Legitimacy.” In Gulfization of the Arab World, edited by Marc Owen Jones, Ross Porter, and Marc Valeri, 27-40. Berlin and London: Gerlach Press, 2018.

Representing the Nation—heritage, museums, national narratives and identity in the Arab Gulf States, Pamela Erskine-Loftus, Victoria Penziner Hightower, and Mariam Ibrahim Al-Mulla eds. London: Routledge, 2016.

Hightower, Victoria Penziner. “Purposeful Ambiguity: The Pearl Trade and Heritage Construction in the United Arab Emirates.” In Cultural Heritage in the Arabian Peninsula, edited by: Karen Exell and Trinidad Rico, 71-84. London: Ashgate Publishing Company, 2013.

Hightower,Victoria Penziner. “Pearling and Political Power in the Trucial States, 1850-1950: Debt, Taxes, and Politics” Journal of Arabian Studies, 3, no. 2 (December 2013).

Hightower,Victoria Penziner. “Pearls and the Southern Persian/Arabian Gulf: A Lesson in Sustainability.” Environmental History, 18, no. 1 (2013): 1-16.

Hightower, Victoria Penziner “We were never weak in the old days”: Gender and Pearling in the Southern Gulf Emirates, 1870-1950, Liwa: Journal of the National Center for Documentation & Research, 4, no. 8, (2012): 5-17.

Book Reviews:
Sea of Pearls: Seven Thousand Years of the Industry that Shaped the Gulf. Robert Carter. Appeared in Journal of Arabian Studies, 3, no. 2 (December 2013).

The Oxford Handbook of Iranian History Ed. Touraj Daryaee. Appeared in History: Reviews of New Books, 41, no. 1 (2012): 31-33.

Work Experience

Teaching Assistant at Florida State University 2008-2011, University of Arizona 2005-2006; Graduate Coordinator for Middle East Center, Florida State University 2006-2011.

Personal Information

Middle East Studies Association, 2006-present
Association for Gulf and Arabian Peninsula Studies, 2011-present
Phi Alpha Theta, 2012-present.

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