Director of Middle East Studies, Brown University
Beshara Doumani's research focuses on the history of social groups, places, and time periods that have been silenced or erased by conventional scholarship on the early modern and modern Middle East. He helped pioneer the fields of Middle East family history and the social history of the Palestinians. His forthcoming book, The Rightful Beneficiaries: A Social History of Family Life in Ottoman Syria, 1660-1860, questions assumptions about Arab and Muslim families by revealing and then seeking to explain dramatic regional differences in the organization of family life within the same cultural zone. He is also the editor of Family History in the Middle East: Household, Property and Gender. His first book, Rediscovering Palestine: Merchants and Peasants in Jabal Nablus, 1700-1900, uses local sources such as family papers and legal records to tell an intimate and textured story of the transformation of Palestinian society during the Ottoman period. Doumani also writes on the politics and ethics of knowledge production and is editor of Academic Freedom After September 11. Doumani joined Brown in 2012 after fourteen years at the University of California, Berkeley, but he is no stranger to the East Coast. He received his PhD from Georgetown University, and was first tenured at the University of Pennsylvania. Currently, Doumani is serving as director of Middle East Studies and is a Faculty Fellow at the Watson Institute for International Studies.