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Ilham Khuri-Makdisi

Associate Professor of History

Ilham Khuri-Makdisi teaches courses in Middle Eastern history, World history and urban history. She is particularly interested in Ottoman Eastern Mediterranean cities in the late 19th, early 20th centuries and the movements of people and ideas. Professor Khuri-Makdisi is a historian of the late Ottoman Empire focusing on the global and intra-imperial links connecting the Ottoman Eastern Mediterranean to various parts of the empire and the world.

Her first book, The Eastern Mediterranean and the Making of Global Radicalism, 1860-1914 (University of California Press, 2010; paperback 2013), focused on socialism, anarchism, and their various interpretations, as they were expressed by different segments of Beirut, Cairo, and Alexandria’s populations –intellectuals, dramatists, and workers.

She is currently working on a cultural and intellectual history of translations between Arabic and Ottoman Turkish in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, as well as other research projects situating the nahda (Arab Renaissance) within a larger Ottoman and global frame.




Co-authored with Aslı Niyazioğlu (Oxford), “Conjuring Emotions in Nineteenth-Century

Istanbul through the journalistic writings of Ahmad Faris Al-Shidyaq (1805-87) and Basiretçi

Ali (1845?-1910),” in Goshgarian, Khuri-Makdisi, Yaycioğlu eds., Crafting Ottoman History:

Essays in Honor of Cemal Kafadar. Boston: Academic Studies Press. Contracted. Forthcoming,


“The Conceptualization of the Social in late 19th early 20th century Arabic thought and

language,” reproduced in M Pernau and D Sachsenmaier, eds., Global Conceptual History: A

Reader. London: Bloomsbury, 2016.

“Fin de siècle Egypt: a Nexus for Mediterranean and Global Radical Networks,” in James

Gelvin and Nile Green eds., Global Islam in the Age of Steam and Print, 1850-1930. Berkeley:

University of California Press, 2013.

The Eastern Mediterranean and the Making of Global Radicalism, 1860-1914. Berkeley:

University of California Press, 2010. Paperback edition 2013.





Related Schools & Departments

  • Education

    PhD, 2004, History and Middle Eastern Studies
    Harvard University

  • Contact

  • Address

    211 ME
    360 Huntington Avenue
    Boston, MA 02115


Course catalog
  • HIST 1185: Introduction to Middle Eastern History

    HIST 1185

    Relies on historical and literary sources, as well as such other cultural artifacts as architecture and photography, and focuses on interaction and changing relations and perceptions between Europe and the Middle East. Surveys the major political and economic events that have linked the trajectory of both civilizations, as well as broad patterns of human activity, such as migrations, conversions, and, cultural exchange. Emphasizes the commonality of encounters, and analyzes the construction of an “other” and its enduring legacy in modern times.

  • HIST 1290: Modern Middle East

    HIST 1290

    Examines the political, social, and cultural history of the Arab countries of the modern Middle East, as well as Iran, Israel, and Turkey. Covers the period from the early 19th century through the late 20th century. Offers students an opportunity to obtain a basis for understanding the politics, social movements, and cultural expressions of the region in the late 20th century. Major themes include imperialism and colonialism; the creation and transformation of the modern states and their political systems since World War I; the transformation of Middle Eastern societies during this same period under the impact of colonialism, independence, regional wars, and oil; women’s and labor movements; and revolutions. Uses a variety of sources including memoirs, photography, literature, and political speeches.

  • HIST 4701: Capstone

    HIST 4701

    Offers students an opportunity to make use of advanced techniques of historical methodology to conduct original research and write a major, original research paper as the culmination of their work toward the history degree. This is a capstone research and writing seminar for history majors.