2005, Ph.D. Department of Near Eastern Studies, Princeton University
Teaching at Chicago since 2004
I am a historian who works on the intellectual, social and cultural history of the modern Middle East. I got my Ph.D. from Princeton University (2004), writing a thesis on Iraqi intellectual history under the supervision of Professors Robert Tignor and Samah Selim, and my BA (1995) and MA (1999) from Tel Aviv University. Since my graduation, I have been working as a professor of modern Middle Eastern history in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at the University of Chicago. My publications deal with Iraqi history, the history of Iraqi Jews, the Arab cultural revival movement (the nahda) in the late 19th century, and the connections between modern Arab history and Arabic literature. My current research project explores the lives of Iraqi Jews in Israel. My graduate students work on a range of issues: cultural history of Ottoman Iraq, the British mandates in Trans Jordan and Iraq, leisure in the Arab world, Mizrahi women, Syrian diplomacy, the Ottoman press, and Arab political thought. At the University of Chicago, I teach classes on nationalism, colonialism and postcolonialism in the Middle East, on modern Islamic civilization, and on Israeli history.
News: During the winter quarter of 2017, I will be teaching a signature class on the modern history of Iraq!
My Recent Public Talks:
Northwestern University: "Al-Ittihad and the 1950's: Sami Michael's Early Arabi Fiction -- Between Baghdad and Haifa"
Chicago Humanities Day: "The Arabic Novel in the Late 19th Century"
Franke Forum: "Jewish Refugees in a Jewish State, 1950-58"
National WWI Museum: "New Babylonians: A History of Jews in Modern Iraq"
My Recent Publications
BooksImpossible Exodus: Iraqi Jews in Israel, Stanford University Press, 2017 Read the intro here: http://www.sup.org/books/extra/?id=25199&i=Introduction.html New Babylonians: A History of Jews in Modern Iraq. Stanford University Press, 2012
The Other Iraq – Pluralism and Culture in Hashemite Iraq, Stanford University Press, 2009 [Paperback, November 2010]
Coedited with Margrit Pernau, Helge Jordheim, Christian Bailey, Oleg Benesch, Jan Ifversen, Mana Kia, Rochona Majumdar, Angelika C. Messner, Myoung-kyu Park, Emmanuelle Saada, Mohinder Singh, and Einar Wigen, Civilizing Emotions: Concepts in Nineteenth Century Asia and Europe, Oxford University Press, 2015
Articles“Unholy Pilgrims in a New Diaspora: Iraqi Jewish Protest in Israel, 1950–1955,” The Middle East Journal, 70:4, Fall 2016, 609-622:
“When the Safras Met the Dājanīs: Arabic in Hebrew and the Rethinking of National Ideology,” Journal of Arabic Literature 47 (2016): 138 –168
“Deconstructing Destruction: The New Historiography of Twentieth-Century Iraq and the Second Gulf War,” Arab Studies Journal 23:1 (2015), 210-136
“The Middle Eastern Shift and Provincializing Zionism”, International Journal of Middle East Studies, 46:3 (August 2014), 577-580 (editor of a round table on this issue)
"A Portrait of an Iraqi Novelist as a Young Man," Kufa Review 2:2 (Spring 2013), 9-35
“The Barbarism from Within – Discourses about Fascism amongst Iraqi and Iraqi-Jewish Communists, 1942–1955,”Die Welt des Islams(52:3-4) 2012, 400-429
“Hybrid Nationalims: Watani and Qawmi visions in Iraq under ‘Abd al-Karim Qasim, 1958-1961,” International Journal of Middle East Studies [IJMES] (2011), 43: 293-312
“A Patriotic Uprising: Baghdadi Jews and the Wathba,” in Nelida Fucarro (ed.),Violence and the City in the Modern Middle East, Stanford University Press, 2016
“Jews in an imperial pocket: Northern Iraqi Jews and the British Mandate,” Cyrus Schayegh (ed.), Routledge Handbook of the History of the Middle East Mandates, Routledge, 2015
"On Schools, Jails, and Cemeteries: Shoshanna Levy’s Gendered Autobiography," Firozeh Kasheni Sabet and Beth Wagner (eds.), Gender in Judaism and Islam, NYU Press, 2014
“My Sister Esther: Reflections on Judaism, Ottomanism, and the Empire of Egypt in the Works of Farah Antun,” Marilyn Booth and Anthony Gorman (eds.), Egypt in the Long 1890s, Edinburgh University Press, 2014
Recent online interviews and online publicationsFighting Nazis – Middle Eastern and Islamic Style! New Texts Out Now: Orit Bashkin, Impossible Exodus: Iraqi Jews in Israel Stanford University Blog: Remembering Refugee ChildrenMuftah: "The history of Jews in Modern Iraq, an Interview with Orit Bashkin"
Jadaliyya: "The forgotten Refugees"