Joukowsky Family Distinguished Associate Professor of Modern Middle Eastern History

Overview

FAIZ AHMED (PhD, UC Berkeley) is an Associate Professor of History at Brown University. Trained as a lawyer and social historian, Ahmed’s core research and teaching engage themes of human mobility, travel, and migration; students, scholars, and networks of learning; and the intersections of constitutionalism, citizenship, and diplomacy. Affiliated with both Middle East Studies and South Asian Studies at Brown, Ahmed’s primary specializations are the late Ottoman Empire, Afghanistan, and the British Raj, as well as diasporic communities tied to these regions. His first book, Afghanistan Rising: Islamic Law and Statecraft between the Ottoman and British Empires (Harvard University Press), won the American Historical Association’s John F. Richards Prize in 2018.

Pivoting to the western hemisphere, Ahmed’s current book project explores the history of relations between the Ottoman Empire and the United States—as seen from Ottoman perspectives. Based on years of multisite research in Ottoman state archives, local preservation societies, and other rare collections from Istanbul to New England, Ottoman Americana: The Late Ottoman Empire and the Early United States (tentative) examines the social, economic, and legal underpinnings of Ottoman-US ties from the late eighteenth to early twentieth centuries. 

Professor Ahmed is a recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Fulbright Program, Social Science Research Council, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Koç University of Istanbul, and UC Berkeley School of Law for his research in Afghanistan, Turkey, Egypt, India, North America, and the UK. He has lived and worked in the largest cities of the Middle East, Central Asia, and South Asia—including Cairo, Istanbul, Amman, Kabul, and Delhi—and trekked to dozens of historic sites across the Arabophone and Islamicate worlds, from Morocco to Malaysia.

Faiz Ahmed is also co-organizer with colleagues Michael Vorenberg, Rebecca Nedostup, and Emily Owens of the Brown Legal History Workshop and Brown Legal Studies collaborative. He is a member of the Brown Faculty of Color Network; California and Rhode Island Historical Societies; and is currently serving as the Brown History Department’s Director of Graduate Advising.

Brown Affiliations

Research Areas