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Photo: Annette Hornischer

Professor of History, Arab-American Educational Foundation Chair in Arab Studies, Rice University, Texas

Siemens Fellow - Class of Spring 2018

Ussama Makdisi is a professor of history and the first holder of the Arab-American Educational Foundation Chair of Arab Studies at Rice University. He completed his BA at Wesleyan University and PhD in history at Princeton University. In 2009, the Carnegie Corporation named Makdisi a Carnegie Scholar, as part of its effort to promote original research of Muslim societies and communities in the United States and abroad. In 2012-13, Makdisi was an invited Resident Fellow at the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin.


Makdisi has published widely on Ottoman and Arab history, US–Arab relations, and US missionary work in the Middle East. His books include Faith Misplaced: The Broken Promise of US–Arab Relations, 1820-2001 (Public Affairs, 2010) and Artillery of Heaven: American Missionaries and the Failed Conversion of the Middle East (Cornell, 2008), which won the 2008 Albert Hourani Book Award from the Middle East Studies Association and the 2009 John Hope Franklin Prize of the American Studies Association. Makdisi is also the author of The Culture of Sectarianism: Community, History, and Violence in Nineteenth-Century Ottoman Lebanon (California, 2000) and co-editor of Memory and Violence in the Middle East and North Africa (Indiana, 2006). His work has appeared in the American Historical Review, International Journal of Middle East Studies, Journal of American History, Comparative Studies in Society and History, and Middle East Report.

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