Afterlives of Revolution
Everyday Counterhistories in Southern Oman
Alice Wilson



Former Revolutionaries, Lasting Legacies

THE JOURNEY BEGAN in an ordinary way. It was a pre-monsoon hot and sticky post-siesta afternoon in 2015. I was searching for a cab to take me several kilometers from one side of Salalah to another, where I was headed to visit a Dhufari family in their home. I felt an acute self-consciousness. It was rare for an unaccompanied woman to take a cab in Salalah. Most Dhufari women, whether of urban or rural background, conformed to prevalent social expectations that when circulating in Salalah they should avoid unnecessary contact with unrelated Omani men, including cab drivers. Women from global north backgrounds typically had their own cars. Many women of global south backgrounds were low-paid domestic workers with limited opportunities, reasons, or resources to take cabs. A roadside lone female cut an awkward figure. Uncomfortably familiar with this predicament, I initially struggled to hail a cab and settle a fare.

Eventually a driver who looked in his sixties agreed to take me. I followed the family’s instructions to call them and hand the phone to the driver, so that the family could explain the directions. I got through to Musallam (a pseudonym), a male member of the household of a similar generation to the driver. Musallam began to explain the route. After a few exchanges, the driver joyfully exclaimed: “Musallam!” The two began to greet each other anew, exchanging news as if they were acquaintances who were glad to be in touch again after some time.

When the driver eventually hung up, he handed the phone back to me saying: “Musallam wants to talk to you.”

I called back, and Musallam told me: “He is one of our group. Maybe he will talk to you.” At this moment, the journey ceased to be ordinary.

I began to sweat beyond the effects of the oppressive heat. Musallam had used a term meaning “group” or “gathering” in classical Arabic (jamaʿah). I most often heard Dhufaris use it to refer to their extended family or tribe. But I immediately understood that Musallam had employed the term in another sense.

Musallam and others in his close family had formerly been members of Dhufar’s liberation movement (henceforth, “the Front”). Launching its revolution in 1965, the Front fought an anti-colonial insurgency for ten years against the British-backed, Muscat-based al-Busaid dynasty of sultans. From 1968 on, and in an increasingly internationalized conflict, the movement pursued Marxist-inspired, anti-tribalist, and egalitarian-leaning programs of social change. These continued until 1992 through the Front’s mobilization and eventual exile in southern Yemen. Members gradually left the movement between the 1970s and the 1990s, taking up lives in Oman as citizens loyal to Sultan Qaboos bin Said (ruled 1970–2020). But for some of these former revolutionaries, the Front’s values of egalitarianism, social inclusivity, and anti-tribalism remained influential.

The “group” to which Musallam referred, then, was not an extended family or tribe, but former members of the Front. The government of authoritarian absolutist Qaboos had nevertheless imposed an official silence regarding the Front and its armed and, later, political opposition. Only in private, informal circles could Dhufaris make reference to the Front without fear of consequences such as increased government surveillance or punishment. Musallam’s suggestion that “maybe” the driver would talk to me was therefore significant. Many Dhufaris were understandably reluctant to speak to a British and British-based researcher about the Front. But Musallam was telling me that the driver might be willing to help me learn more about the movement and its afterlives.

Hence, I sweated in the cab. How could I—or should I—broach the sensitive topic of the Front with the driver, even if Musallam’s overture suggested that he judged that it was safe to do so? After speaking with Musallam, I resumed small talk with the driver. I eventually ventured that I was a researcher studying social change in Dhufar in the 1970s and after. These were terms broad enough to include euphemistic reference to the revolution and its programs that a Dhufari could easily recognize. In adopting purposefully open-ended language I sought to give interlocutors the choice about whether or not to direct conversation toward the Front. The driver proceeded to tell me, equally euphemistically, that Musallam had a “background” (khalfiyyah), as did members of Musallam’s family, male and female, whom the driver named to me. But the driver went no further, and following his cue I did not pursue the topic.

When we arrived at the house, I telephoned to say that I was outside. The driver heard me greeting Khiyar, a female senior member of the family also of a similar generation to Musallam and the driver. He asked for the phone. He and Khiyar then exchanged warm greetings, again as if between longstanding acquaintances who were glad to speak after some time. Just as gendered norms frowned upon most Dhufari women taking cabs in Salalah, similarly they generally discouraged unrelated Dhufari males and females from seeking social contact. Although such expectations applied less stringently to postmenopausal women of Khiyar’s generation, the effusive greetings between her and the driver still struck me as unusual. Had they been relatives, they would likely have had opportunities to hear each other’s news through kinship networks. This seemed not to be the case. Rather, they greeted one another as if reconnecting in the light of a shared past: the “background” in the Front at which Musallam and the driver had hinted.

In the end, the driver’s reluctance to speak to me explicitly about the revolution had not foreclosed revelation. On the contrary, his recognition of Musallam’s voice, and his subsequent conversation with Khiyar, proved suggestive. Did the enthusiastic greetings between this man and woman echo the well-known gendered egalitarianism of Dhufar’s revolution? The interactions between Musallam, Khiyar, and the driver evoked possibilities that some former revolutionaries acknowledged social networks that linked them to one another and reproduced values of social—including gendered—egalitarianism and inclusivity. The cab journey had reached an extraordinary climax. It showed me firsthand how former militants reproduced lasting legacies of revolution.

Everyday Counterhistories

What happens to revolutionary ideas, networks, and values after military defeat, and after an authoritarian government has imposed official silence? How do afterlives of revolution persist despite censorship? Which kinds of revolutionary legacies survive authoritarian repression? What means are available for former revolutionaries, and others, to reproduce afterlives of revolution? What combinations of ordinary and extraordinary interactions produce revolutionary legacies? And what light do those afterlives shed on the processes and meanings of revolution?

These questions have hung for years over Dhufar’s former revolutionaries, who have raised children and buried peers in Qaboos’s Oman. The longevity of their presence in the Sultanate, and the inevitable dwindling of their numbers with each passing year, make Dhufar a compelling case for asking what legacies endure beyond official silence. These questions have become urgent to address.

Empirically, the revolutions that began in 2010–2011 in many countries in Southwest Asia and North Africa (SWANA)—the dubbing of which as the Arab Spring reflects Eurocentric categories—have produced new generations and growing numbers of disappointed revolutionaries.1 They live under authoritarian governments that repress revolutionary mobilizations. In Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain, Yemen, Syria, and beyond, how do those living under authoritarianism experience and create revolutionary aftermaths? How does their revolutionary past remain an inspiration for ongoing emancipatory projects? Their peers in Oman have preceded them in facing the dilemmas and possibilities of claiming a revolutionary past as a crucible of personal and national identity and aspiration.

Conceptually, attending to officially silenced revolution offers a novel perspective on revolution. Commentators and activists alike have most often approached revolution as ongoing protest, insurgency, experimentation, or governance. Beyond and alongside this familiar lens is the less examined alternative of afterlives of revolution. These afterlives are the lasting values, networks, ideas, and legacies that persist, despite political repression. The study of officially silenced revolution challenges and expands upon the conventional focus on what makes a revolution. It brings into view revolution understood through the optic of those values, ideas, and legacies that survive, despite discouraging odds. Such a focus calls for attention to the means for maintaining and reproducing those legacies.

In privileging moments of uprising, insurgency, and governance, many studies have probed revolutionary mobilization and transformation (as I have in previous work).2 The experiences of revolutionaries in Oman have enriched such analysis of revolution-in-progress. Activist scholars produced eyewitness analyses of the Front.3 Accounts of revolutionary schooling foreground the movement as a beacon of education aiming at social change.4 The landmark revisionist retelling of the Front’s mobilization until 1976 highlights revolutionaries’ agency, institutions, and cultural production.5

FIGURE 1. Rally of PFLOAG combatants, 1971, Dhufar. © Jean-Michel Humeau. Reprinted with permission.

When revolutionary movements have fallen short of achieving the transformation of state power and social relations to which they aspired, analysis has tended to address two angles. On the one hand are attempts to understand the reasons for failure.6 On the other are assessments of how former revolutionaries navigate disappointments, dreams, and ongoing activism in conditions of exile or multipartyism.7 When it comes to officially silenced revolutionaries living under authoritarianism, repression raises difficulties of access and of how to shield research participants from harm. Until recently, a handful of studies navigated such constraints.8 Inquiry into postrevolutionary lives under authoritarianism is nevertheless growing in the wake of the 2010–2011 uprisings in SWANA.9 More usually, though, inquiry into revolution has focused on either revolution-in-progress or revolutionary legacies in contexts that afford greater political freedoms than does authoritarian official silence.

In contrast, there is a plethora of counterinsurgency narratives that address officially silenced revolutionaries. These perspectives, however, uphold questionable premises. They typically cast revolutionaries as threats to national security and morality, while lauding victorious interventions against them. A case in point is Egypt’s post-2013 counterrevolutionary government.10 Its discourses have presented the consequences of the 2011 deposition of President Mubarak as a threat to national security. Conversely, they portray President Sisi as the savior of security and stability. Such endorsement serves the interests of ruling classes whom revolutionaries defied, as well as neocolonial agendas. Similarly, in the Dhufari case, Oman’s British counterinsurgency backers created evocative propaganda.11 It cast Dhufar’s revolutionaries as terrorists and godless communists who threatened a glorified stability, security, and morality that the sultan’s rule and colonial intervention promised to safeguard.12 The accounts of some British veterans, and of some scholars, have echoed such depictions of the Marxist-inspired Front as a political, economic, and moral threat.13

In parallel to the demonization of Dhufar’s revolutionaries, the accounts of some veterans and scholars depict a successful, even exemplary, counterinsurgency. This approach emphasizes the distribution of resources and services to Dhufaris as a means to “win hearts and minds.”14 Such a narrative is not merely empirically flawed.15 It also rests on colonialist premises. It assigns to counterinsurgency forces the competence and right to decide which of Dhufaris’ claims to grant or dismiss. It also implies white men “saving” brown men and women from other (here, communist) brown men and women.16 In both demonizing and colonialist varieties, narrations of successful counterinsurgency distort the lives of officially silenced former revolutionaries. These narratives can offer their strongest insights into revolutionary experiences when read “against the grain.” This book pursues such an impulse to question, destabilize, and decolonize dominant narratives.17

It is not satisfactory that the most frequent representations of officially silenced revolutionaries are narratives of counterinsurgency achievement. These accounts have produced a glut of problematic images of victorious counterinsurgency that obscure nonconforming alternatives. In privileging the perspectives of the victorious, these narratives neglect counterhistories: histories that recover the experiences of the marginalized.18 Conventional narratives cannot advance an understanding of the officially silenced revolutionaries whose experiences it has become empirically and conceptually urgent to address. But the retrieval of counterhistories can destabilize dominant and official narratives and histories. This book takes up precisely these tasks.

This book begins to trace counterhistories of the postwar lives of male and female ex-revolutionaries in Dhufar who live alongside postrevolutionary generations, under varying degrees of surveillance. In doing so, this study takes inspiration from counterhistories of Dhufar’s revolution-in-progress.19 Placing a new focus on the postwar lives of Dhufari former revolutionaries, the book shows that there are lasting legacies—afterlives—of revolution that breach official silencing. These afterlives were manifest in Dhufar in ongoing legacies of revolutionary values, networks, and relationships. Afterlives were especially, but not exclusively, present in everyday interactions. Some veteran revolutionaries used kinship to reproduce a counterhegemonic, more egalitarian social order. In their daily socializing, they reproduced revolutionary values of egalitarianism. They also unofficially commemorated the revolution through ordinary acts, such as funeral attendance. More occasionally, those with personal or family connections to former militancy created revolutionary afterlives by undertaking extraordinary actions, such as unusual electoral candidacy or hosting a gathering to mark an ex-revolutionary’s return to Oman. In all these interactions, Dhufaris were ever mindful of the Omani government’s official silence about the war. In that context, the everyday interactions that created afterlives of revolution did not evince resistance that attracted the concern of the Omani state. Yet in these constrained conditions, former revolutionaries, and some close to them, nevertheless maintained social afterlives of revolution. An understanding of these afterlives foregrounds everyday counterhistories—as well as occasional extraordinary counterhistories—that illuminate new perspectives on revolution, patronage, and postwar everyday life.

From “What Makes a Revolution” to “What Survives of Revolution”

The dominant meaning of “revolution” shifted in the late eighteenth century. Until then, the term had referred to the restoration of circumstances to their original position. The newer meaning, prevalent today, refers to the upheaval of a given state of affairs and their replacement with alternative, new arrangements.20 The notion emerged of an all-encompassing revolution in the way a society organizes political legitimacy and rule as well as social and economic relations. This is the kind of revolution to which militants in Dhufar aspired.

Revolution in this sense is a profound transformation of social order that undermines, often with speed and violence, former political and social organization, ruling authorities, and supporting myths, and propagates new replacements of each.21 The scope of change entails not just institutions, but the very premises of political legitimacy.22 Revolution on this scale is a “social revolution” involving not just change in the way a society organizes the means of production (an “economic revolution” such as the Industrial Revolution), or a change in political rulers (a “political revolution” such as a coup). It involves change in the organization of both political authority and of the social differentiation that political authorities legitimize.23 Revolutionary subjects experience transformations on personal and collective scales.24 Such attempted transformation of both political and socioeconomic life characterized revolution in Dhufar.

Dominant approaches in history, political science, and related disciplines have focused on the conditions and causes of revolution, its defining features, and the wide-ranging outcomes when revolutionary mobilizations operate, at least for a time, as state(like) powers governing civilian populations.25 These outcomes include the possibility that seizing state power does not necessarily lead to a revolutionary transformation of society.26 In contrast, anthropological and some historical approaches are concerned less with whether particular events “qualify” as a revolution. Rather, for the ethnographer, a revolution is an “event” in the sense of a rupture of the routine that makes alternative horizons visible and possible.27 Anthropologists thus interrogate revolution as a social experience. Such inquiry dates back as far as the pioneering study during anthropology’s formation of the Soviet revolution as a “gigantic social phenomenon.”28 Since then, through a combination of studies of longer-term revolutionary scenarios, accidents that saw anthropologists happen to be in situ when a revolution erupted, and growing awareness of how anthropological lenses predisposed some researchers to overlook emerging mobilizations, a growing field of anthropological studies of revolution has emerged.29 Dhufar’s revolution resonates with these discussions of revolutionary experience, social change, and legacies.

Typically, anthropologists heed the local—what ethnographers call the “emic” or “insider”—interpretation of what people experience as a revolution according to local terminology. Focused on understanding the relationship between local, national, and global experiences and narratives, anthropologists trace revolutionary transformations in everyday lives as “micro-processes” that constitute “a countlessly repeated uprooting of social relations, in thousands of local communities, in millions of lives.”30 Processual approaches illuminate how revolutionary phenomena that people may experience in terms of rupture nevertheless connect with existing wider ritual, economic, and political phenomena. Hence, revolutionary experience is always intersectionally inflected with gender, class, ethnicity, race, and sexual orientation.31 Dhufar foregrounds how intersectionality is as relevant for revolution as for its afterlives.

Inevitably, “new” revolutionary experiences recycle and rework existing political, economic, and social relations.32 The social dynamics of exceptional revolutionary spaces and times (e.g., those found in communities and spaces of resistance or in protests) echo rites of passage (such as transformations from childhood to adulthood). Both contexts see people experience liminality, a temporary suspension of social hierarchy, and communitas, egalitarian-leaning social bonds that the suspension of ordinary hierarchies facilitates.33 In another social reverberation, the perceived need to find a solution to the crisis of revolutionary liminality creates opportunities for a leader who claims to be a savior. In practice, however, this leader can resemble devious “trickster” figures, such as those that feature in some folk tales.34 In a further reprise, revolutionary discourse follows religious injunctions in demanding that devotees be ready for self-sacrifice.35 Revolution is clearly a social process.

These social dimensions have implications for revolutions that end in disappointment, whether military defeat or disillusion. Whatever the outcome, persons still lived through and engaged with revolutionary process and feel lasting, potentially irreversible, impacts.36 A disappointing denouement does not make the lived experiences of militants, including Oman’s, any less revolutionary.

The localization of revolutionary processes within broader social relations illuminates connections with wider temporal contexts. This is especially relevant to inquiry into the aftermaths of revolution. On the one hand, past experiences of revolution can become an inspiration and resource for those articulating agendas for new revolutionary transformation—or other emancipatory projects.37 In Dhufar, demonstrators in Salalah in February–May 2011 referred to events of the 1970s in their protest chants.38 On the other hand, when confronted with futures radically different from those to which they aspired, militants who failed in their goals to take power or transform society can find that previous revolutionary experiences continue to define and influence their lives. For some, disappointment becomes a defining postrevolutionary experience, assuming postcolonial and postsocialist forms.39 Disillusionment manifested in Dhufar too.

Yet those disappointed with revolutionary-era ambition may still continue to mobilize for their own rights and for the rights of marginalized groups. They may do so under other banners, such as social movements and human rights, as have former Sandinistas in Nicaragua, ex-Maoists in France, and Bahraini former Front member ʿAbd al-Nabi ʿIkri in a career that spanned exile before his return to Bahrain.40 Indeed, “it may be precisely after the revolution that the long struggle for democratization and economic justice will be waged.”41 In Oman, no Dhufaris suggested to me that former revolutionaries engaged in ongoing political resistance of concern to Oman’s governing authorities. But some of the country’s political activists engaged in memory work about the revolution in Dhufar.42 This suggests that later generations of activists construe the revolution as an episode of national significance. More discreetly, in their day-to-day lives some of Dhufar’s former revolutionaries engaged in egalitarian-leaning interactions. Their kinship practices, everyday socializing, acts of unofficial commemoration, and occasional extraordinary acts reproduced revolutionary values and networks.

The experiences of Dhufaris and other erstwhile militants show how revolutions that failed to take power, lost power, or failed in wider social, political, and economic goals nevertheless have afterlives. An afterlife is a continuing influence, a later stage of life, or a life after death.43 More expansively, an afterlife implies the anticipated collective continuation of projects after persons previously involved can no longer continue them.44 All of these meanings cohere in afterlives of revolution—life after “death” in a form such as military, political, or ideological defeat and official silencing, ongoing influence of revolutionary ideas, later stages of life for revolutionary agendas, and the possibility of future generations’ continuation of projects. Afterlives, then, see political projects seep into and “haunt” their successors as “the past extends into, interrupts, or impinges on the present.”45

The plurality of afterlives reflects these diverse meanings. Moreover, the very experience of revolution is plural, diverse, and entails “fragments.”46 Accordingly, by no means do the ongoing influences of revolution constitute a unitary experience. Afterlives of revolution are necessarily plural, multiple, and diverse. The experience of revolutionary legacies is as intersectional as is that of revolution. Former militants in Oman were differently positioned according to gender, race, ethnicity, tribe, and social status in their opportunities and motivations to create afterlives of revolution.

The afterlives of revolution, then, concern not only veteran revolutionaries who, however disenchanted, navigate disappointments, dreams, or ongoing activism. They also encompass officially silenced revolutionaries. The repression of state authorities precludes their survival as a political movement in their home country or, in some cases, in exile. We must continue to probe the reasons for these movements’ failure and heed the voices of formerly imprisoned militants.47 But we must also ask what happens to ideas, people, and their networks beyond the official silencing of a revolution. These afterlives invite exploration. Iranian Marxists who failed in their political goals nevertheless “succeeded in bringing many new ideas to the social arena and even into the Islamic movement.”48 Former Maoists in Bengal maintained some social aspects of their revolutionary projects. As old men they continued to avoid the two dominant forms of masculinity that they had rejected as revolutionaries, namely the male provider for a household, and a religious renouncer.49 Among Sri Lanka–based Tamil ex-militants of leftist groups active in the 1980s and subsequently repressed, female friendships outlived militancy.50 These insights have inspired this inquiry into the lives of former revolutionaries in Dhufar.

“Officially silenced revolution” is an awkward turn of phrase. It can nevertheless avoid pitfalls of alternatives. “Defeated revolution” risks reiterating the narrative of the overwhelming victory of Oman’s government and its colonial backers. It also ignores the dissenting views of Dhufaris who hold that they in fact won the war by virtue of forcing the government to change its policies. “Repressed revolution” is likewise problematic in that it highlights government repression while neglecting Dhufaris’ circumvention thereof. “Silenced revolution” is similarly flawed, for although the government seeks to impose a silence about the war—such as by omitting it from textbooks, museums, and monuments, and censoring print and digital publications—Dhufaris and other Omanis privately discussed, remembered, and unofficially commemorated the revolution in Oman, and published about it outside the confines of Oman’s Ministry of Information censorship. “Officially silenced revolution” acknowledges both the fields of government coercion that constrained Omanis and the possibilities nonetheless for circumventing that silence, reproducing revolutionary networks and values, and creating revolutionary afterlives.

Making the afterlives of officially silenced revolution the focus of attention foregrounds new perspectives on revolution. First, by bringing into view, on the one hand, the intersectional diversity of afterlives of revolution, and on the other hand, their heterogeneous reach—across electoral politics in Latin America, former guerillas in Mozambique, ex-Maoist human rights activists, and officially silenced revolutionaries in Oman—the book opens a novel window onto revolution. We can apprehend revolution not only through its causes, characteristics, typologies, and defining features, in other words, “what makes a revolution.” We can also appraise revolution through its legacies despite inauspicious political odds, through “what survives of revolution.” An officially silenced revolution, such as Dhufar’s, illuminates what persists even when so much imperils survival.

Second, by recognizing afterlives of revolution across both official silence and more permissive environments, we can question conventional distinctions between “failed” and “successful” revolutions. The empirical and conceptual investigation of revolution-in-progress has already questioned teleological narratives through which revolutionaries anticipate advancement and progress. Similarly, the analysis of afterlives of revolution highlights that the boundaries between “failed” and “successful” revolutions are not necessarily as clear as intuition might initially suggest. Of course it matters—perhaps most of all to militants themselves—whether revolutions succeed or fail in the goals to which activists have aspired, such as transforming social, political, and economic life in the promotion of greater justice, inclusivity, and participation. But revolutions with a range of outcomes, whether capturing state power, competing for it, or succumbing to defeat, produce persistent legacies as well as lasting frustrations. A focus on the afterlives of revolution disrupts conventional distinctions between successful and failed revolutions. It favors instead greater exploration and acknowledgment of diverse long-term revolutionary outcomes and influences. Failure to achieve some goals may still create conditions for alternative successes, including the pursuit of other afterlives. This has been the case in Oman.

Third, and relatedly, emphasis on the afterlives of revolution extends the temporality and spatiality of revolutionary experience and impact. It looks beyond conventional chronologies and mappings in the hegemonic narratives of revolutionary as well as counterinsurgency and colonial actors. The Omani government declared victory over the Front on December 11, 1975. It agreed to a ceasefire with the Front’s provider of an exilic base, the People’s Democratic Republic of Yemen (PDRY) on March 10, 1976. Nonetheless, Dhufaris’ experiences question those official endpoints. It is not merely that some Dhufaris believe that they, and not the government, won the war. In addition, small numbers of Front fighters continued armed resistance in Dhufar until at least March 1980.51 The Front held its last official conference in Yemen in 1992. Protestors in Salalah in 2011 warned the government not to forget the 1970s. During my first visit to Dhufar in 2013 some Dhufaris discussed their belief that the government was actively seeking to persuade the Front’s former secretary general, ʿAbd al-ʿAziz al-Qadi, to return to Oman. In 2016, a year after my main fieldwork, the government imprisoned Omani journalist and activist ʿAbdullah Habib after he wrote on Facebook that the authorities should allow, forty years on, mothers to mourn at the graves of executed revolutionaries.52 The list of follow-ups to Dhufar’s revolution only extends.

Instead of apprehending revolution through putatively clearly delineated times and spaces, a focus on afterlives of revolution posits dynamic, unfolding revolutionary times, spaces, impacts, and legacies. A metaphor that captures such unfolding potential would be to conceptualize the afterlives of revolution—especially those of an officially silenced revolution—not as a dead stump of a felled tree that obstinately remains and, with the passing of time or with greater effort, might disappear. Rather, the afterlives of revolution resemble a living tree. Its branches and roots continue to grow. The branches produce new afterlives, and the roots extend as later generations look back on revolutionary predecessors and understand their experiences in new ways.


1. Alhassen, “Please.”

2. See in anthropology e.g., Armbrust, Martyrs; Boutieri, “Bastardy”; Boutieri, “Events”; Dahlgren Contesting; Donham, Marxist; Hafez, Women; Hegland, Days; Montoya, Gendered; Rosendahl, Inside; Shah, Nightmarch; Wilson, Sovereignty.

3. E.g., Halliday, Arabia; Trabulsi, Dhufar.

4. Jabob, Qiyadat.

5. Takriti, Monsoon.

6. E.g., Bayat, Revolution; Behrooz, Rebels; La Botz, What.

7. E.g., Al-Khalili, Waiting; Babb, After; Silber, Everyday; Sprenkels, After; West, “Girls”; Wolin, Wind.

8. E.g., Donner, “Radical”; Thiranagama, Mother’s.

9. E.g., Bayat, Revolutionary; Vacchiano and Afailal, “‘Nothing.’

10. E.g., see Makram-Ebeid, “‘Old.’

11. Takriti, Monsoon, 254–56, 48–49, 63–64, 69.

12. See e.g., bin Said, Royal, 16, 26–28, 33, 43–44, 48–49, 63–64, 69.

13. E.g., Fiennes, Soldiers, 168, 173, 178; Gardiner, Service, 73; Higgins, SAS, 8, 193; Jeapes, SAS, 27; Thwaites, Muscat, 73; Hughes, “‘Model,’” 291; Peterson, Oman’s, 253.

14. E.g., Arkless, Secret; Fiennes, Soldiers; Jeapes, SAS; Gardiner, Service; Higgins, SAS; Ladwig, “Supporting”; Peterson, Oman’s, 393–94.

15. DeVore, “Complex”; Hazelton, Bullets, 81–105; Hughes, “Demythologising”; Newsinger, British, 136–56.

16. Spivak, “Subaltern.”

17. See e.g., Maldonado-Torres, “Coloniality.”

18. Thompson, Making.

19. Hazelton, “‘Hearts’”; Hazelton, Bullets, 81–105; Jabob, Qiyadat; Newsinger, British, 136–56; Takriti, Monsoon.

20. See Donham, Marxist, 1–2. On terms in other languages, some with different associations, see Wilson, “Revolution.”

21. Clapham, Transformation, 1.

22. Thomassen, “Notes,” 683.

23. Skocpol, States, 4–5.

24. Cherstich et al., Anthropologies.

25. E.g., Foran, “Theories”; Allinson, “Fifth?” On typological approaches that seek to distinguish revolution “from all other processes of historical transformation” see Goodale, Revolution, 27.

26. Tilly, Mobilization, 189–222.

27. Badiou, Event. For anthropological interrogation of revolution as an event, see Boutieri, “Events”; Lazar, “Historical.”

28. Mauss, “Sociological,” 336.

29. E.g., Bayat, Revolutionary; Dahlgren, Contesting; Rosendahl, Inside; Humphrey, Karl; Armbrust, Martyrs; Donham, Marxist; Hegland, Days; Winegar, “Privilege”; Cherstich et al., Anthropologies; Thomassen, “Notes”; Wilson, “Revolution”; Starn, “Missing.”

30. Donham, Marxist, 35.

31. E.g., Bayat, Revolutionary; Dahlgren, Contesting; Goodale, Revolution; Hafez, Women; Hasso and Salime, Freedom; Schielke, Egypt; Vince, Fighting; Winegar, “Privilege”; Winegar, “Civilized.”

32. E.g., Al-Khalili, “Halaqas”; Bayat, Revolutionary; Hegland, Days; Wilson, Sovereignty.

33. Gennep, Rites; Thomassen, “Notes”; Turner, Anthropology.

34. Armbrust, Martyrs; Thomassen, “Notes.”

35. Holbraad, “Revolución.”

36. Al-Khalili, “Rethinking”; Bayat, Revolutionary, 235–48; Foucault, “Useless,” 264–66; Ghamari-Tabrizi, Foucault, 72.

37. Ahram, Break; Dahlgren, “Making”; Lazreg, “French.” On temporal connections in revolutionary time, see Lazar, “Historical.” On revolutionary networks as resources for migratory emancipatory projects, see Enriquez, Children.

38. Valéri, “Qaboos,” 5.

39. Silber, Everyday; Sprenkels, After; Traverso, Left-wing; West, “Girls.” See also Frederiksen and Gotfredsen, Georgian.

40. Babb, After; Wolin, Wind, 234; ʿIkri, Dhakirat.

41. Babb, After, 15–16.

42. See e.g., Said al-Hashemi’s review of Zahran al-Sarimi’s memoir and ʿAbdullah Habib’s Facebook posts about graves of executed revolutionaries. Al-Hashemi, “al-Umani”; Abroughi, “Omani.”

43. Dictionary, s.v. “afterlife,” accessed September 9, 2022,

44. Scheffler, Death.

45. Salem, Anticolonial; Schäfers, “Afterlives.”

46. Goodale, Revolution.

47. E.g., Behrooz, Rebels; Ghamari-Tabrizi, Remembering.

48. Behrooz, Rebels, xi. The focus of Behrooz’s study is not afterlives, though, but the failures of leftist activism.

49. Donner, “Radical.”

50. Thiranagama, Mother’s, 219.

51. Worrall, Statebuilding, 289.

52. Abrougui, “Omani”; Donaghy, “Oman.”