Carl Shook

Ph.D., University of Chicago, 2018
Teaching at UChicago since 2021

My research and teaching interests are the social and political history of the Middle East in the 19th and 20th centuries, with a focus on the processes and effects of imperial and colonial state-building. I am particularly interested in boundary-making and governance within the borderlands of new states. My 2018 doctoral thesis entitled “The Origins and Development of Iraq’s National Boundaries, 1918-1932: Policing and Political Geography in the Iraq-Nejd and Iraq-Syria Borderlands” showed the importance of interactions between rural tribal populations, refugees, and provincial government officials to the formation of Iraq’s modern borders. I am currently working on an article about the cooptation of Bedouin tribal “conferences” by Iraqi, French, and British officials to settle their own political disputes along the Iraq-Syria frontier.

At the University of Chicago, I teach courses on modern Middle Eastern history, the geographical and cultural logics of colonial rule and territoriality, and modern Iraq, as well as advise and mentor graduate students enrolled in the Center for Middle Eastern Studies (CMES). I also hold an M.A. from CMES (2009), and I received my B.A. in History from Western Washington University (2004).