Photo of Zeinab Abul-Magd
  • Associate Professor of History
  • Chair of International Studies

Education

  • BS,  political science, Cairo University, 1996
  • MA,Arab studies & Islamic law, Georgetown University, 2003
  • PhD, Georgetown University, 2008

Biography

Zeinab Abul-Magd is an associate professor of Middle Eastern history. She received a PhD in history and political economy in 2008 at Georgetown University, and an MA in Arab studies and Islamic law in 2003, also at Georgetown University. She received a BS in political science in 1996 at Cairo University, Egypt.

She specializes in the socioeconomic history, army, war and society, and Islamic law and society in the Middle East. Her first book, Imagined Empires: A History of Revolt in Egypt (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2013) won the Roger Owen Book Award in economic history from the Middle Eastern Studies Association in North America (MESA). This book has been translated into Arabic and published in Cairo by the Egyptian National Center of Translation in 2018.

Her recent publications include a monograph titled Militarizing the Nation: The Army, Business, and Revolution in Egypt (New York: Columbia University Press, 2017), and an edited volume titled Businessmen in Arms: How the Military and Other Armed Groups Profit in the MENA Region, coeditor with Elke Grawert (New York: Rowman and Littlefield, 2016).

As an internationally recognized expert in the field, Abul-Magd was invited to publish countless reports with influential think tanks in Washington, D.C. and Europe. In addition, she published articles at Foreign Policy magazine, Jadaliyya, and several Arabic newspapers.

In the United States, she published essays with renowned think tanks such as Carnegie Endowment, the Atlantic Council, and Middle East Institute.

In Europe, she wrote reports for the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), London; SOAS’s Middle East in London Magazine, University of London; Transparency International (TI), London; the German Orient-Institute (Deutsches Orient-Institut), Berlin; Christian Michelson Institute (CMI), Norway; and Istituto Per Gli studi Di Politica Internazionale (ISPI), Italy.

In Egypt, she published Arabic journalistic articles at al-Manassa, and Mada Masr. She was interviewed or quoted by local and international newspapers and networks such as the Washington Post, the New York Times, Reuters, al-Monitor, France 24, DW (Deutsche Welle), El Mundo, Vox, ONTV, and al-Masry al-Youm TV.

Her classes at Oberlin College cover a wide range of topics relevant to Middle Eastern classical and modern history, as well as contemporary realities. They include

  •  Wars, borders, and displacement in the Middle East
  •  State, Empire, and Revolution in the Middle East
  •  Militaries, Militias, and Jihad in the Middle East
  •  Colonial and Post-Colonial State Formation and Transformations in the Middle East
  • Globalization and its Discontents in the Middle East
  • U.S. Foreign Policy in the Middle East
  • Economic History of the early modern and modern Middle East
  • Islamic Law & Society (focusing on women and gender and holy wars) 

Her recent publications include a monograph titled Militarizing the Nation: The Army, Business, and Revolution in Egypt (New York: Columbia University Press, 2017), and an edited volume titled Businessmen in Arms: How the Military and Other Armed Groups Profit in the MENA Region, coeditor with Elke Grawert (New York: Rowman and Littlefield, 2016).

Her first book, Imagined Empires: A History of Revolt in Egypt (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2013), earned the MESA’s Roger Owen Book Award in economic history in 2015, and its Arabic translation is titled Imbraturiyyat Mutakhayalla: Tarikh al-Thawra fi Sa‘id Misr, 1500-2011 (Cairo: The National Council of Translation, 2015).

Notes

  • Zeinab Abul-Magd Receives Book Award

    November 24, 2015

    Associate Professor of History Zeinab Abul-Magd was awarded the Roger Owen Book Award for her book Imagined Empires: A History of Revolt in Egypt at the 2015 Middle East Studies Association (MESA) Annual Meeting November 21-24 in Denver.

    The Roger Owen book award is a biennial award and the highest recognition for books produced in Middle East studies with a special focus on economic history, economics, and political economy of the Middle East and North Africa. It is one of only two book awards presented by MESA.

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