A.W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow
I study the social and material history of ideas, print culture, and critical thought in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) from the early nineteenth century to the present. My research and teaching interests include: modern MENA history, politics, and cultures; Israel/Palestine; classical and modern Arabic poetry; cultures of nationalism and radicalism in the third world; global histories of the twentieth-century; modern and contemporary Arab thought—left and right; political Islam; history of postcolonialism between the US and the Middle East; and Arab-American history and letters.
At the moment, I am working on a monograph—tentatively titled On Modernism's Edge: An Intellectual History of Palestinians—which expands and develops my doctoral research on Palestinian thinking (and its Arab discontents) between the Arab-Israeli Wars of 1948-9 and of 1967. To uncover this little-studied phase of Palestinian history my archival research has taken me to Amman, Beirut, and other sites of the Palestinian diaspora for two full years. There, I collected and examined Arabic-language newspapers, magazines, pamphlets, scrapbooks, posters, correspondences, and miscellaneous ephemera. At the same time, I tried to weigh this paper trail against the recollections of surviving Palestinian and Arab figures from the period. I interviewed over a dozen novelists, artists, and critics in Amman and Beirut. Most had offered remarkable anecdotes from the 1950s and 1960s, which reveal a more nuanced picture of Palestinian and Arab intellectual histories than that presented by the historiography. My research has also attracted generous funding from institutions in the Middle East, Europe, and the United States.
Education and Degrees
MA, PhD: History (University of Minnesota, Twin Cities)
BA: Political Science & Religion (Carleton University, Canada)
Coursework in Engineering (Jordanian University of Science and Technology, Jordan)