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Office: 7377 BUNCHE Hall
Phone: 310-206-4854
Fax: 310-206-9630
E-mail: gelvin@history.ucla.edu

Mailing Address:

UCLA Department of History
6265 Bunche Hall
Box 951473
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1473

Class Websites

Research Interests

Social and cultural history of the modern Middle East, particularly Greater Syria (the area of present-day Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Israel, and the Palestinian territories) during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries

Selected Publications

Global Muslims in the Age of Steam and Print, 1850-1930 (co-editor, Berkeley: University of California Press, 2014).

The Arab Uprisings: What Everyone Needs to Know (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012).
-----Revised Edition, 2015.

Israel Palestine Conflict: One Hundred Years of War (Cambridge, ENG: Cambridge University Press, 2005).
-----Revised Edition, 2007.
-----Revised Edition, 2013.
-----Italian Edition, Giulio Einaudi Editore SpA, 2007.
-----Polish Edition, Jagiellonian University Press, 2008.
-----Portuguese Edition, Edipro, 2015.

The Modern Middle East: A History (New York: Oxford University Press, 2004).
-----2nd Edition, 2007.
-----3rd Edition, 2011.
-----4th Edition, 2015.
-----Italian Edition, Giulio Einaudi Editore SpA, 2008
-----Turkish Edition, 2016.

Divided Loyalties: Nationalism and Mass Politics in Syria at the Close of Empire (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1998).

“The Arab Uprisings: Lessons to be Learned (and Unlearned),” Forum: “Le rivolte arabe in prospettiva storica,” Il Mestiere di Storico (Italian Society of Contemporary History—SISSCO), 5:1 (June 2013).

“‘Modernity,’ ‘Tradition,’ and the Battleground of Gender in Early Twentieth-Century Damascus,” Die Welt des Islams 52 (2012).

“Nationalism, Anarchism, Reform: Understanding Political Islam from the Inside Out,” Middle East Policy XVII, 3 (Fall 2010).

“‘Arab Nationalism’ Meets Social Theory,” “Pensée: ‘Arab Nationalism’: Has a New Framework Emerged?" International Journal of Middle East Studies 41 (2009).

“Al-Qaeda and Anarchism: A Historian’s Reply to Terrorology,” and “Al-Qaeda and Anarchism: A Historian’s Reply to Terrology: Response to Commentaries,” Terrorism and Political Violence 20:4 (2008).

“The Politics of Notables Forty Years After,” Middle East Studies Association Bulletin, 40:1 (June 2006).

“Globalization, Religion, and Politics in the Middle East: The Current Crisis in Historical Perspective,” Global Development Studies (Winter 2004/Spring 2005).

“Islamism and Nationalism: Common Roots, Common Destinies,” Beiruter Blaetter: Mitteilungen des Orient-Institutes Beirut, 10-11 (March 2004).

“Zionism and the Representation of ‘Jewish Palestine’ at the New York World’s Fair, 1939-1940,” The International History Review XXII:1 (March 2000).

"Modernity and Its Discontents: On the Durability of Nationalism in the Arab Middle East," Nations and Nationalism 5:1 (January 1999).

"The League of Nations and the Question of National Identity in the Fertile Crescent," World Affairs (Summer 1995).

"The Social Origins of Popular Nationalism in Syria: Evidence for a New Framework," International Journal of Middle East Studies (November 1994).

"Demonstrating Communities in Post-Ottoman Syria," The Journal of Interdisciplinary History XXV:I (Summer 1994).

"Comprendiendo las insurrecciones árabes," in G. Conde et al. (eds.), Mundo árabe: Levantamientos populares, contextos, crisis y reconfiguraciones (Ciudad de México: El Colegio de México/CIDE, 2015).

“Was There a Mandates Period? Some Concluding Thoughts,” in Cyrus Schayegh and Andrew Arsan (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of the History of the Middle East Mandates (New York: Routledge, 2015).

“Reassessing the Recent History of Political Islam in Light of the Arab Uprisings,” in Fahed Al-Sumait et al. (eds.), Conceptualizing the Arab Uprisings: Origins, Dynamics, and Trajectories (New York: Rowman & Littlefield, 2014).

“The Arab World at the Intersection of the Transnational and National,” in David W. Lesch and Mark Haas (eds.), The Arab Spring: Change and Resistance in the Middle East (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 2012).
-----Reprinted in Karl Yambert (ed.), The Contemporary Middle East: A Westview Reader (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 2013).
-----Revised and translated as “Arap Ayaklanmalarini Anlamak” in Y. Dogan Cetinkaya (ed.), Ortadogu: Direnis, Devrim, Emperyalizm (Istanbul: Iletisim Yayinlari, 2013).
-----Revised for The Arab Spring: Change and Resistance in the Middle East, 2nd Edition, (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, forthcoming 2016).

“American Global Economic Policy and the Civic Order in the Middle East,” in Michael Bonine et al. (eds.), Is There a Middle East? (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2011).

“The Middle East Breasted Discovered,” in Geoff Emberling and John Larson (eds.), Pioneers to the Past: American Archaeologists in the Middle East, 1919-20 (Chicago: Oriental Institute, 2010).

“Resolution of the Syrian General Congress, 1919,” in Brian Bonhomme and Cathleen Boivin (eds.), Milestone Documents in World History: Exploring the Primary Sources That Shaped the World (Dallas: Schlager Group, 2010).

“Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc?: Reassessing the Lineages of Nationalism in Bilad al-Sham,” in Thomas Philipp and Christoph Schumann (eds.), From the Syrian Land to the State of Syria (Würtzburg: ERGON Verlag, 2004).

“T.E. Lawrence and Historical Representation,” in Charles Stang (ed.), The Waking Dream of T.E. Lawrence: Essays on His Life, Literature, and Legacy (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2002).

“Secularism and Religion in the Arab Middle East: Reinventing Islam in a World of Nation States,” in Derek R. Peterson and Darren Walhof (eds.), The Invention of Religion: Rethinking Belief and Politics in History (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2002).

“Developmentalism, Revolution, and Freedom in the Arab Middle East: The Cases of Egypt, Syria, and Iraq,” in Robert H. Taylor (ed.), The Idea of Freedom in Asia and Africa (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2002).

"(Re)Presenting Nations: Demonstrations and Nationalisms in Pre-Mandate Syria," in F. Moge Gocek (ed.), Social Constructions of Nationalism in the Middle East (Albany: SUNY Press, 2002).

“Napoleon in Egypt as History and Polemic,” in Irene Bierman (ed.), Napoleon in Egypt (Reading, ENG: Ithaca Press, 2003).

“The Other Arab Nationalism: Syrian/Arab Populism in Its Historical and International Contexts" in James Jankowski and Israel Gershoni (eds.), Rethinking Nationalisms in the Arab World (New York: Columbia University Press, 1997).

"The Ironic Legacy of the King-Crane Commission," in David W. Lesch (ed.), The United States in the Middle East: A Historical Reassessment (Boulder: Westview Press, 1995).

Avi Shlaim, Israel and Palestine: Reappraisals, Revisions, Refutations, International Journal of Middle East Studies, forthcoming.

Peter Beinart, The Crisis of Zionism, Journal of Church and State, (July 23, 2013).

Firro, Kais. Metamorphosis of the Nation (al-Umma): The Rise of Arabism and Minorities in Syria and Lebanon, 1850-1940. Nations and Nationalism 15:4 (October 2009).

Hurd, Elizabeth Shakman. The Politics of Secularism in International Relations. International History Review XXX, 4 (2008).

Amos Nadan, Amos. The Palestinian Peasant Economy under the Mandate: A Story of Colonial Bungling; Assaf Likhovski, Law and Identity in Mandate Palestine. American Historical Review (October 2007).

Fruma Zachs, The Making of a Syrian Identity: Intellectuals and Merchants in Nineteenth Century Beirut. MESA Bulletin (June 2006).

Mansoor Moaddel, Islamic Modernism, Nationalism, and Fundamentalism: Episode and Discourse. The International History Review (September 2006).

Mark LeVine, Overthrowing Geography: Jaffa, Tel Aviv, and the Struggle for Palestine 1880-1948. Journal of Palestine Studies 138 (Winter 2006).

Ussama Makdisi, The Culture of Sectarianism: Community, History, and Violence in Nineteenth-Century Lebanon. American Historical Review 107:1 (February 2002).

Eugene L. Rogan, Frontiers of the State in the Late Ottoman Empire: Transjordan, 1850-1921. Middle East Journal 54:4 (Autumn 2000).

Elizabeth Thompson, Colonial Citizens: Republican Rights, Paternal Privilege, and Gender in French Syria and Lebanon. The International History Review 22:4 (December 2000).

Kathleen Christison, Perceptions of Palestine: Their Influence on Middle East Policy. Political Science Quarterly 115:1 (Spring 2000).

Hasan Kayali, Arabs and Young Turks: Ottomanism, Arabism, and Islamism in the Ottoman Empire, 1908-1918. International Journal of Middle East Studies (February 1999).

Nicolaos Van Dam, The Struggle for Power in Syria: Politics and Society under Asad and the Bacth Party. Middle East Studies Association Bulletin 31 (1997).

Tamara Sonn, Interpreting Islam: Bandali Jawzi’s Islamic Intellectual History. The Middle East Journal 4 (Autumn 1997).

Rashid Khalidi et al., The Origins of Arab Nationalism. British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies 20:1 (1993).

Videocast: “James Gelvin addresses The Plato Society on the Rise and Fall of the Islamic State,” 21 May 2015. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hXG9mRhuaBg.

Podcast: Book Talk: “The Arab Uprisings: What Everyone Needs to Know, 2nd ed., 20 May 2015. http://www.international.ucla.edu/media/podcasts/TheArabUprisings-hf-1av.mp3.

Online Commentary: “Six Predictions about What Will Happen in Syria,” History News Network, 17 May 2015. http://historynewsnetwork.org/article/159417.

Radio Interview: “Counterpoint: James Gelvin on The Arab Uprisings: What Everyone Needs to Know,”WKNO (Memphis), 15 May 2015, http://wknofm.org/post/james-gelvin-arab-uprisings-what-everyone-needs-know.

Videocast: “The Past and the Future of the Middle East,” Panel: “Why History Matters and the Future of History,” Department of History, UCLA and Center for Near Eastern Studies, UCLA, 2 April 2015. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UHALhftiNrs.

Videocast: “The Legacy of World War II in the Middle East,” Alden-Berg Lecture: “Legacies of World War I, UCLA History Department, 9 March 2015.

Online Commentary: “Don’t Blame Sykes-Picot,” OUPblog, History News Network, 7 February 2015. http://blog.oup.com/2015/02/dont-blame-sykes-picot/, http://historynewsnetwork.org/article/158462.

Podcast: “The Rise and Fall of the Islamic State,” Panel: “The Islamic State and the Yazidi Genocide,” UCLA Center for Near Eastern Studies, 4 February 2015. http://www.international.ucla.edu/media/podcasts/The-Islamic-State-and-Yazidi-Genocide-3-ei-lhu.mp3.

Online Commentary: "Was Al-Qaeda a winner or loser from the Arab uprisings?" The Conversation, 4 December 2014. https://theconversation.com/was-al-qaeda-a-winner-or-loser-from-the-arab-uprisings-34847.

Online Commentary: “How Will the Syrian War be Resolved?” The Conversation, 2 December 2014. https://theconversation.com/how-will-the-syrian-war-be-resolved-34846,

Television Commentary: “World War I through Arab Eyes,” al-Jazeera and al-Jazeera America, Episodes 1-3, November-December 2014. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tf-3HFY5n5A&list=PLJyrzEL-wvYKPBo6LPDoZkrlOY0C68ONp&index=3.

“Egypt,” “Arab Spring of 2011-12,” Encyclopaedia Britannica Book of the Year 2013 (Chicago: Encyclopædia Britannica, 2014).

Television Interview: “What is Drawing Americans to ISIS?” The Cycle, MSNBC, 28 August 2014. http://www.msnbc.com/the-cycle/watch/what-is-drawing-americans-to-isis--322916931838.

Online Interview: “ISIS-Baathist Alliance Likely to Break Down in the Near Future,” IranReview.org, 6 August 2014. http://www.iranreview.org/content/Documents/ISIS-Baathists-Alliance-Likely-to-Break-Down-in-Near-Future.htm.

Online Commentary: “What is the Islamic State and its Prospects,” OUPblog, 19 July 2014. http://blog.oup.com/2014/07/what-is-the-islamic-state-and-its-prospects/?utm_source=feedblitz&utm_medium=FeedBlitzRss&utm_campaign=oupblog

Online Interview: “Expert: Takfiris Just One Step away from Salafists, Wahhabis,” Tasnim News Agency (Tehran), 29 June 2014. http://www.tasnimnews.com/English/Home/Single/416377, http://www.tasnimnews.com/Home/Single/415360.

Videocast: “The Mutating Syria Crisis,” Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research (SETA), Ankara, 21 June 2014. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zoFUMvnE-_Q.

Online Commentary: Three-part Series: “Mission Impossible: What’s the Future for Israel-Palestine,” “Why Hasn’t it Been Possible for Israel and Palestine to Reach a Peaceful Agreement in the Last 50 Years?,” “Is a Peace Agreement Possible? What’s the Way Forward?,” Curious Animal, 20, 22, 29 May 2014. http://www.curiousanimal.com/mission-impossible-whats-future-israel-palestine/, http://www.curiousanimal.com/israel-palestine-hasnt-peace-possible/, http://www.curiousanimal.com/israel-palestine-peace-possible-whats-way-forward/.

Online Commentary: “Everything You Think You Know about the Egyptian Revolution is Wrong,” History News Network, 11 February 2014. http://hnn.us/article/154685.

Videocast: “Solutions for Syria,” Panel Discussion, Hammer Forum, 2 December 2013. http://hammer.ucla.edu/programs-events/2013/12/solutions-for-syria/.

Online Interview: “How Did We Get Here, and Where is This Conflict Going: Prof. Gelvin of UCLA Weighs in,” Syriachronicle.com, 4 December 2013. http://syriachronicle.com/how-did-we-get-here-and-where-is-this-conflict-going-prof-gelvin-of-ucla-weighs-in/.

Podcast: “Narrativizing Egypt’s Uprising,” Panel (with Ahmed Maher): “Reclaiming the Egyptian Revolution,” UCLA Center for Near Eastern Studies and Department of History, 7 November 2013. http://web.international.ucla.edu/cnes/podcast/135574.

“Egypt,” “Arab Uprisings, 2010-2013,” Encyclopaedia Britannica Book of the Year 2013, http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/1958364/Arab-Uprisings-2010-13-Year-In-Review-2013.

Videocast: "Crisis in Egypt and Syria," Global Consortium, Cerritos College, 12 September 2013. http://new.livestream.com/accounts/4129201/events/2385904.

Online Commentary: “The Real Goal of Obama’s Syria Policy,” History News Network, 8 September 2013. http://hnn.us/article/153220.

Commentary: “Room for Debate: “‘Spring’ Uprisings Are Nothing New,” New York Times, 15 August 2013. http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2013/08/14/is-this-the-end-of-the-arab-spring/spring-uprisings-are-nothing-new.

Online Commentary: “Here’s What Actually Happened (Response to Kanan Makiya,” The Quarterly DAG-3QD Peace and Justice Symposium: The Iraq War and Democracy in the Middle East, 1 July 2013. http://www.3quarksdaily.com/3quarksdaily/2013/07/the-quarterly-dag-3qd-peace-and-justice-symposium-the-iraq-war-and-democracy-in-the-middle-east.html.

Online Commentary: “Ten Questions about the Crisis in Syria,” Center for Middle East Development, UCLA, 27 June 2013. http://international.ucla.edu/cnes/news/article.asp?parentid=132774.

Videocast: “The Arab Uprisings: An Analytical Framework,” Harvard University Center for Middle East Studies, 11 December 2012. http://cmes.hmdc.harvard.edu/node/3356.

Podcast: “Reassessing the Recent History of Political Islam in Light of the Current Uprisings,” Podcast, International Institute, 1 November 2012.

Videocast: “Civil Society in Syria: Interfaith Relations during the Uprising” (panel with Father Paolo Dall’Oglio and Lindsay Gifford), UCLA, 5 August 2012. http://youtu.be/B2N4YNby8II.

Videocast: “Teaching MEIS through the Social Sciences: What Do Students Need to Know?,” Conference: “The Middle East across the Curriculum,” California State University, Northridge, 31 July 2012. http://mp3skull.tv/play.php?mp3=1bfsutjYr8OY5MI%3D&y=James%20Gelvin,%20UCLA.

Videocast: “What History Explains: The Arab World at the Intersection of the National and Transnational,” Middle East Institute, National University of Singapore, 24 May 2012. http://vimeo.com/44372953.

Podcast: “Living History with Professor James Gelvin,” History Graduate Student Association, UCLA Graduate Student Association, UCLA Center for Near Eastern Studies, 9 May 2012. http://www.international.ucla.edu/media/podcasts/Gelvin-Aron-ks-21o-1c-fgt.mp3.

Videocast: “James Gelvin: Understanding the Egyptian Elections,” Alternate Focus Productions, 2 February 2012. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xoQGwFjrOwc&list=HL1328302274&feature=mh_lolz.

Podcast: “What History Explains: The Arab World at the Intersection of the National and Transnational,” Panel: “Taking Stock: The Arab Uprisings on the Eve of Their First Anniversary” (with Juan Cole), UCLA Center for Near Eastern Studies, 14 November 2011. http://www.international.ucla.edu/cnes/podcasts/article.asp?parentid=122954.

Podcast: “Libya: The First Arab Revolution?” Center for Near Eastern Studies, Global Voices for Justice, KPFK, 4 October 2011. http://www.international.ucla.edu/media/podcasts/GelvinLibya-hw-1ii.mp3.

Online Interview: NEWTON (New Texts Out Now) series, Jadaliyya.edu, 31 August 2011. http://www.jadaliyya.com/pages/index/2486/new-texts-out-now_james-gelvin-the-modern-middle-e.

“‘Coup-Proof?” History Today (August 2011).

Podcast: “Whither Syria?” Center for Near Eastern Studies and Global Voices for Justice, 25 May 2011. http://www.international.ucla.edu/media/podcasts/Gelvin-ea-3l1.mp3.

Videocast: “Uncut,” (Remarks on Obama’s Middle East Speech, 23 May 2011), Youtube.

Videocast: UCLA News|Week Video: “Al-Qaeda after bin Laden,” 4 May 2011. http://newsroom.ucla.edu/portal/ucla/news-week-al-qaeda-after-bin-laden-202606.aspx

Videocast: “[Omar] Suleiman and Egypt's future,” Youtube/UCLA Cross Section, 9 February 2011. http://newsroom.ucla.edu/portal/ucla/ucla-cross-section-suleiman-and-192100.aspx.

Videocast: “Egypt and the Debt Crescent,” Youtube/UCLA Cross Section, 2 February 2011. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nXUlgUCnf84.

“Nationalism,” entry in The Oxford Encyclopedia of Islam and Politics (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011).

“Nationalism,” entry in The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Islamic World (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008).

Podcast: “Foucault and the Historiography of Nationalism in the Arab Middle East,” Conference: Foucault and Middle East Studies, UCLA Center for Near Eastern Studies, 29 April 2009. http://www.international.ucla.edu/cnes/podcasts/article.asp?parentid=107628.

Podcast: “Al-Qaeda as Anarchism,” Conference/Workshop: Jihadi Islam, UCLA Center for Near Eastern Studies, 27 November 2007. http://www.international.ucla.edu/media/podcasts/jamesgelvin_Nov1307.mp3.

“Palestine, Zionism, and the Arab-Israeli Conflict,” 24-part lecture series, The Teaching Company, 2002 (Check web for torrent).


Department of Education/Title VI Travel/Research Grant, Summer 2004.

Research Grant, G.E. von Grunebaum Center for Near Eastern Studies, Summer 2003.

Faculty Research Grant, Department of History, UCLA, Winter 2003.

UCLA Academic Senate Grant, Annually 1998-Present.

Fellowship, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, 1999-2000.

President’s Research Fellowship in the Humanities, University of California, 1999-2000.


Outstanding Academic Title, 2006, American Library Association (for The Israel-Palestine Conflict: One Hundred Years of War).

Faculty Fellow, Center for American Politics and Public Policy, UCLA, 2006-7.

Faculty Excellence Award, presented by the UCLA chapter of Mortar Board National Senior Honor Society, 1998.

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