Cultural Studies Program

The Cultural Studies Program (previously, Unit) was established in 2020. The Program advances research that focuses on culture and cultural policies and the way they interact with broader social and political contexts. It adopts a broad definition of culture that includes identity, cultural discourses and practices as well as creative cultural production. It aims to contribute to a deeper understanding of cultural change at the local, regional, and global levels, and to raise the quality of public debate concerning cultural policies. It also aims to build constructive relations with cultural institutions, intellectuals, specialists in the fields of humanities and social sciences, and experts in the field of cultural policies in various regions of geographical interest.

The program’s remit covers several areas, including “cultural studies” in its broad sense, such as cultural change and its connection to institutional and societal change, issues of identity, cultural memory, and cultural diversity, as well as “cultural policies,” particularly the relationship of culture to development and the organizational and institutional aspects of culture. The program’s research agenda also includes “arts and society,” which focuses on the trends and implications of cultural production and its relationship to social reality, and “culture and the city,” which includes the study of the cultural dimensions of urban change, whether in the identity, history, and planning of cities, or changes in urban behavior patterns and the human relationship with the city.




Ahmad Alowfi - Program Head

Marwa Ehsan Fakih - Research Fellow

Hamza Kashgari - Research Fellow

Lujain Al-Yamani - Research Fellow

Rehab Almutairi - Research Fellow

Nuha Alotaibi - Research Fellow

Nouf Almutlaq - Research Fellow

Salem Barabaa - Junior Research Fellow




Hamza Kashgari, “The Parade of Mummies: A Symbolic Reading of Simulation in Historical Events,” Commentary, August 2021.




Public Lecture: “Migration of Concepts and Transformations of Culture,” 7 September 2022. 

Online Lecture: “Towards a People-Centered Urbanity: Lessons from Riyadh,” 19 June 2022. 



Report on the state of culture in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

The KFCRIS collaborated with the Ministry of Culture to prepare and issue a Report on the State of Culture in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Report on the State of Culture in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia 2021

Report on the State of Culture in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia 2020

Report on the State of Culture in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia 2019


Past Fellows

Faisal Abualhassan - Research Fellow (2020-21)