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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, 2013).

The Arab Uprisings: What Everyone Needs to Know (New York: Oxford University Press, 2012).
-----Revised edition, 2014

Israel Palestine Conflict: One Hundred Years of War (Cambridge, ENG: Cambridge University Press, September 2005).
-----3rd Edition, 2013.
-----Polish Edition, Jagiellonian University Press, 2008.
-----Revised Edition, 2007.
-----Italian Edition, Giulio Einaudi Editore SpA, 2007.

The Modern Middle East: A History (New York: Oxford University Press, 2004).
-----Revised Edition, 2015.
-----Revised Edition, 2011.
-----Italian Edition, Giulio Einaudi Editore SpA, 2009.
-----Revised Edition, 2007.

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: “Arab Springs,” Il Mestiere di Storico (Italian Society of Contemporary History—SISSCO), 5:1 (March 2013).

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

"Coup Proof?" History Today (August 2011).

"Nationalism, Anarchism, Reform: Political Islam from the Inside Out," Middle East Policy, XVII:3 (Autumn 2010).

"'Arab Nationalism': Has a New Framework Emerged?," Pensee, International Journal of Middle East Studies (Winter 2009).

"Al-Qaeda and Anarchism: A Historian's Reply to Terrorology," Terrorism and Political Violence 20:4 (Autumn 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," in World Affairs (Summer 1995).

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

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

“Was There a Mandates Period? Some Thoughts,” in Andrew Arsan and Cyrus Schayegh (eds.) The Mashriq in the Age of Late Imperialism: The Mandates in Global Perspective (New York: Routledge, forthcoming 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, forthcoming 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).

"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 Neil Schlager (ed.), Milestone Documents in World History (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, forthcoming.

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

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

Amos Nadan, The Palestinian Peasant Economy under the Mandate: A Story of Colonial Bungling, and 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 InternationalHistory Review 22:4 (December 2000).

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

Hasan Kayali, Arabs and Young Turks: Ottomanism, Arabism, and Islamism inthe 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).

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

“Solutions for Syria,” Panel Discussion, Hammer Forum, 2013, http://hammer.ucla.edu/watchlisten/watchlisten/show_id/2021220/show_type/video?browse=none&category=0&search=.

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

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

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

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

“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.

“Here’s What Actually Happened.” Response to Kanan Makiya, “How did the 2003 Iraq War both contribute to spread the idea of democracy in the Middle East, and discredit that idea at the same time?” 3 Quarks Daily (3QD) and the Dialogue Advisory Group (DAG), 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.

“Ten Questions about the Crisis in Syria: Text of an interview conducted by the Hong Kong daily Ming Pao (明報),” June 2013, http://international.ucla.edu/cnes/news/article.asp?parentid=132774.

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

“Reassessing the Recent History of Political Islam in Light of the Current Uprisings,” Podcast, International Institute, November 2012, http://www.international.ucla.edu/article.asp?parentid=128721.

Panel Discussion on Syria with Father Paolo Dall’Oglio and Lindsay Gifford, UCLA, August 2012, http://youtu.be/B2N4YNby8II.

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

“Living History with Professor James Gelvin,” History Graduate Student Association, UCLA Graduate Student Association, UCLA Center for Near Eastern Studies, April 2012, http://www.international.ucla.edu/cnes/podcasts/article.asp?parentid=125901.

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

“What History Explains: The Arab World at the Intersection of the National and Transnational,” Podcast, Center for Near Eastern Studies, UCLA.

“Libya: The First Arab Revolution?” Podcast, Center for Near Eastern Studies; Global Voices for Justice Video & KPFK, October 2011. http://www.international.ucla.edu/cnes/podcasts/article.asp?parentid=122374.

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

“Whither Syria?” Podcast, Center for Near Eastern Studies; Global Voices for Justice Video May 2011. http://www.international.ucla.edu/cnes/podcasts/article.asp?parentid=121329.

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

“Uncut,” (Remarks on Obama’s Middle East Speech, May 2011), Youtube. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_qA2xY3Avpo.

Youtube/UCLA News|Week, “Egypt’s Revolution,” February 2011.

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

“Egypt and the Debt Crescent,” Youtube/UCLA Cross Section, 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).

“Foucault and the Historiography of Nationalism in the Arab Middle East,” Podcast, http://www.international.ucla.edu/cnes/podcasts/article.asp?parentid=107628.

“Al-Qaeda as Anarchism,” Podcast, http://www.international.ucla.edu/cnes/podcasts/article.aspparentid=82886.

“Globalization, Religion, and Politics in the Middle East,” Video Lecture, The University Channel, Princeton University.

“Palestine, Zionism, and the Arab-Israeli Conflict,” 24-part lecture series, The Teaching Company, 2002.


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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