Saudi Dreams: Icebergs in Iowa


  • Rafico Ruiz Trent University, Canada


The First International Conference on Iceberg Utilization, held at Iowa State University in October 1977, contributed to the formation of nascent hydrologics in the late 1970s that were used to justify incursions into unconventional sites of resource extraction by “dry” nations such as Saudi Arabia. As a central site of water-related knowledge production, the Iceberg Utilization meeting put forward a collection of media that would constitute a form of evidentiary claim in the emergence of increasingly prevalent schemes on the part of water “poor” regions to achieve viable forms of water provision by the early 1980s.

Author Biography

Rafico Ruiz, Trent University, Canada

Rafico Ruiz is the Roberta Bondar Postdoctoral Fellow in Northern and Polar Studies at Trent University, as well as an FQRSC Postdoctoral Fellow. He studies the relationships between mediation and social space, particularly in the Arctic and Subarctic; the cultural geographies of natural resource engagements; and the philosophical and political stakes of infrastructural and ecological systems. His iceberg-related work appears in the International Journal of Communication, the Journal of Northern Studies, and TOPIA: Canadian Journal of Cultural Studies, amongst others.