Joukowsky Family Distinguished Associate Professor of Modern Middle Eastern History


Professor Ahmed is on sabbatical in Spring 2024 and a Faculty Fellow at the Cogut Institute for the Humanities

Faiz Ahmed (PhD, UC Berkeley, JD, UC Law San Francisco) is a historian of the Ottoman Empire and modern Middle East. Trained as a lawyer and social historian, Ahmed’s primary specializations are the late Ottoman and British empires, Afghanistan, and diasporic communities tied to the region we today call the Middle East. From the Khyber Pass to the Turkish Straits and Suez Canal, Ahmed’s core research and teaching engage questions of human mobility, travel, and migration; students, scholars, and networks of learning and expertise; and the interrelationships between law, citizenship, and diplomacy.

Ahmed’s first book Afghanistan Rising: Islamic Law and Statecraft between the Ottoman and British Empires was awarded the American Historical Association’s John F. Richards Prize and was shortlisted for the British-Kuwait Friendship Society Book Prize in 2018. Pivoting to the western hemisphere, his current book project Ottoman Americana: The Late Ottoman Empire and the Early United States (under contract with Princeton University Press) examines the social, economic, and legal underpinnings of Ottoman-US ties from the eighteenth to twentieth centuries, as seen from Ottoman perspectives. Ahmed has published articles in journals of law, history, Middle East Studies, and Global South Studies, including Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa, and the Middle East; Global Jurist; International History Review; International Journal of Middle East Studies; Iranian Studies; Jadaliyya; Journal of Ottoman Studies; Journal of the Ottoman and Turkish Studies Association; Law and History Review; and Perspectives on History.

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, UC Berkeley Law, and Harvard Law School for his research in Afghanistan, Turkey, Egypt, India, North America, and the UK. Traversing national and area studies divides, he's lived and worked in the largest metropolises of the Middle East, Central Asia, and South Asia, primarily Istanbul, Cairo, Kabul, and Delhi. As with his research and teaching, he’s trekked extensively across the region(s) connecting Morocco to Malaysia and the Balkans to Indian Ocean.

Dr. Ahmed is also co-organizer with Brown University 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 and Historical Societies of California, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island.

Brown Affiliations

Research Areas