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Department of History / People / Faculty by Name / Will Hanley

Will Hanley

Assistant Professor of History

Additional Information

440 Bellamy
Ph.D., 2007, Princeton University
Research Interests: 
Middle East, Empire, Law

Contact Information

(850) 912-9143

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.

Digital history

  • 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.


Legal History


In spring 2014, I am teaching a seminar on Islamic Law and Society with Adam Gaiser (Religion).

Previous semestersFuture semesters.

Language sessions

Past semesters: Schedule and Readings 

More information