Dr Andrew Arsan
A historian of the Arabic-speaking Eastern Mediterranean, I am particularly interested in the cultural, social, political and intellectual histories of the Ottoman and post-Ottoman Levant; in diaspora and the trans-regional circulation of people; in French and British imperialism in the Mediterranean and beyond; and in histories of political thought and intellectual life in the world beyond Europe.
My second book, Lebanon: A Country in Fragments, was published by Hurst & Company in the summer of 2018. This is an account not just of Lebanon’s high politics, with its endless rows, walk-outs, machinations and foreign alliances, but also of the politics of everyday life: all the stresses and strains the country’s inhabitants face, from electricity black-outs and uncollected rubbish to stagnating wages and property bubbles. Where others treat Lebanon’s woes as exceptional, a by-product of its sectarianism and particular vulnerability to regional crises, I insist there is nothing particular about Lebanon’s predicament. Rather, it is emblematic of these times of neoliberal economics and populist fervour, forced displacement, rising xenophobia, and public disillusion. Lebanon, in short, offers us a lens through which to look on our times.
I am now at work on a synoptic history of the lands we now call Lebanon from the early sixteenth century to the early twenty-first century, under contract with Cambridge University Press.
I have previously taught at Princeton University and Birkbeck, University of London.
I am on academic leave until October 2020, thanks to the award of a Philip Leverhulme Prize. I am happy to take on prospective PhD candidates during this period, but cannot supervise MPhil students while on leave.
I welcome inquiries from prospective graduate students interested in the history of the Arabic-speaking Eastern Mediterranean from c.1850 to the present day.
From 2013 to 2018, I served as Convenor of the Part I survey paper 'Empires and World History from the Fifteenth Century to the First World War'. I have also lectured for Papers 18, 'European History since 1890', and 23, 'World History since 1914'.
At Part II, I convene the Specified Subject 'Middle Eastern Modernities since c.1700'.
I have also co-taught the Core Course of the MPhil in World History.
I am the Reviews Editor of the Historical Journal, and one of the co-editors of the journal Mashriq & Mahjar: Journal of Middle East Migration Studies with Akram Khater (North Carolina State University) and Lily Pearl Balloffet (UC Santa Cruz).
In March 2017, I was the 2016-17 Chaire Ganshof van der Meersch at the Université Libre de Bruxelles, giving a series of lectures on 'European Order and Middle Eastern Disorder'. More details of these lectures can be found here.
Tags & Themes
St John's College
Cambridge CB2 1TP