A Little Bit of Background

If you’ve read the “About” section on this blog, you’ll have a general idea about who I am and why I’m writing this blog. Today, I want to provide a little more background than the “About” provides.

The area of concentration for my PhD studies is in the modern Middle East. “What does this mean?” you might ask. For me, it means that I’m looking at the post-Ottoman Empire Middle East, 1918, on.

I wasn’t always a historian of Middle Eastern bent. I started off life as an Americanist, a colonial Americanist to be exact, looking at the colonial and early Republic years of the United States. I wanted to study gender and the family. During my third year as an undergraduate, however, I took a survey course on the history and politics of the modern Middle East. I was pretty much sold on it after that.

I took my interest in the Middle East with me to a master’s program at Cal State Fullerton, where I focused on gender, the nation, and identity formation among Middle Eastern immigrants in the United States between WWI and WWII. For my PhD research, I hope to look at the ways in which a national identity/nationalism developed in Lebanon while it was under the French mandate between WWI and WWII, using gender as my analytical framework. I might also throw a little transnational examination of national identity formation into the mix, looking at Middle Eastern immigrants in the United States during the same period. We’ll see what I get.

Anyone else doing work on gender, nationalism, and the Middle East in the mandate period? Or in the post-colonial period? Feel free to leave any questions, comments, or thoughts in the comments section.

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