Beshara Doumani is the Joukowsky Family Professor of Modern Middle East History and Director of Middle East Studies at Brown University. His research focuses on groups, places, and time periods marginalized by mainstream scholarship on the early modern and modern Middle East. He also a public intellectual who writes on the topics of displacement, academic freedom, politics of knowledge production, and the Palestinian condition.
Before coming to Brown University Department of History in 2012, and establishing the Brown Middle East Studies Program, he was a faculty member at the University of California, Berkeley from 1998-2012, and a tenured professor at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia from 1989-1998.
From 1996 to 1997 he was a fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, DC. From 2001-2002, he was a fellow at the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin, and from 2007-2008 at Harvard University's Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He will be a fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies at Princeton University from 2018-2019.
Doumani's specialty is the social, cultural, and legal history of the early modern and modern Middle East.
His books include Family Life in the Ottoman Mediterranean: A Social History (2017), Rediscovering Palestine: Merchants and Peasants in Jabal Nablus 1700-1900, Academic Freedom After September 11 (editor), and Family History in the Middle East: Household, Property and Gender (editor). Doumani has also published numerous articles on Palestinian history and historiography, including “Archiving Palestine and the Palestinians: The Patrimony of Ihsan Nimr," "Palestine Versus the Palestinians? The Iron Laws and Ironies of a People Denied," and "Rediscovering Ottoman Palestine: Writing Palestinians into History," among others.
Doumani is the founder of the New Directions in Palestinian Studies research initiative, and editor of its open-access book series, published by the University of California Press. He serves on the editorial committees of the Journal of Palestine Studies and the Jerusalem Quarterly. In 2017, he received the Sawyer Seminar award from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for his proposal, “Displacement and the Making of the Modern World: Histories, Ecologies, and Subjectivities,” and organized the yearlong series of workshops, seminars, courses, and cultural activities for the Seminar.
From 2008-2010, Doumani led a team that produced a strategic plan for the establishment of a Palestinian museum in Birzeit.
- Doumani, B. (1994). "The political economy of population counts in Ottoman Palestine: Nablus, ca 1850" (PDF). Int. J. Middle East Stud. 26: 1–17.
- Rediscovering Palestine: Merchants and Peasants in Jabal Nablus, 1700-1900, University of California Press, 1995.
- Family History in the Middle East: Household, Property, and Gender (editor), SUNY Press, 2003.
- Academic Freedom After September 11 (editor), Zone Books/MIT Press, 2006. ISBN 1-890951-61-7
- Family Life in the Ottoman Mediterranean: A Social History, Cambridge University Press, 2017.