Note: I will spend the 2012-2013 academic year in Berlin as a fellow of the Rechtskulturen project of the Berlin Research Network Recht im Kontext (Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin) at the Forum Transregionale Studien.
I studied at the Universities of Saskatchewan, Toronto, Jordan, and Oxford before taking my doctorate at Princeton. My current research examines categories used to describe Middle Eastern societies.
I am working on a book about the emergence of nationality as a social and legal category in Alexandria (Egypt) between 1880 and 1914. My aim is to understand how and when ordinary people began to identify themselves as Egyptians, Ottomans, foreigners, and the like. This research is based on documents produced by the city's police and its European consular courts. I also study Western conversion to Islam between 1850 and 1950, aiming to understand what kinds of Islam the converts discovered (and made) for themselves. I teach courses on Egypt, the Middle East, and imperialism.
- I am developing a digital humanities tool called Prosop, for which I received an NEH Digital Humanities Start-Up Grant.
- I am an administrator of the American Historical Association's ArchivesWiki.
- “Cosmopolitan Cursing in Late Nineteenth Century Alexandria,” in Derryl MacLean and Sikeena Karmali Ahmed, eds., Cosmopolitanisms in Muslim Contexts: Perspectives from the Past, “Exploring Muslim Contexts” series (Edinburgh University Press, 2012), 92-104.
- "Grieving Cosmopolitanism in Middle East Studies," History Compass 6/5 (2008): 1346-1367. Also available (with subscription) here and here.
- "Tajawwuz al-dawlah: madrasah jadidah fi kitabat al-tarikh al-amriki" ("Transnationalism: a new approach to America's history"),Thaqafat al-Nukhbah wa Thaqafat al-'Ammah fi Misr fi al-'Asr al-'Uthmani, ed. Nasir Ahmad Ibrahim (Cairo: al-Jama'iyah al-Misriyah lil-Dirasat al-Tarikhiyah, 2008), 341-7.
- "Ta'rif al-ajanib fi al-iskandariyah fi al-qarn al-tasi' 'ashar" ("Identifying foreigners in late nineteenth century Alexandria"), transl. Khaled Fahmy. Amkenah 7 (2005): 111-20.
Starting in Fall 2012, I will be associate editor (book reviews, non-Americas) of the Law and History Review.
Past semesters: Schedule and Readings