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Professor of Modern Middle Eastern History, University of California, Los Angeles

James L. Gelvin is Professor of Modern Middle Eastern History at the University of California, Los Angeles. He received his B.A. from Columbia University, his Master's in International Affairs from the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University, and his Ph.D. from Harvard University. He has taught at Boston College, Harvard University, MIT, and the American University in Beirut. A specialist in the modern and contemporary social and cultural history of the Arab East, he is author of five books: The New Middle East: What Everyone Needs to Know (Oxford University Press, 2017); The Arab Uprisings: What Everyone Needs to Know (Oxford University Press, 2012, 2014); The Israel-Palestine Conflict: A History (Cambridge University Press, 2005, 2007, 2014, 2021); The Modern Middle East: A History (Oxford University Press, 2004, 2007, 2011, 2015, 2020); and Divided Loyalties: Nationalism and Mass Politics in Syria at the Close of Empire (University of California Press, 1998); along with numerous articles and chapters in edited volumes. He is also editor of The Contemporary Middle East in an Age of Upheaval (Stanford University Press, 2021), and co-editor of Global Muslims in the Age of Steam and Print, 1850-1930 (University of California Press, 2013). His books have been translated into Italian, Portuguese, Hungarian, Turkish, Arabic, and Polish. In 2015, Gelvin received the Middle East Studies Association’s Undergraduate Education Award.


  • –present
    Professor, University of California, Los Angeles


Pacific Council on International Policy, 2021. Renaissance Weekend, 2019. Humanitarian Award, Syrian Institute for Progress, 2019. Distinguished Visitor, Center for Middle East History, University of California, Berkeley, 2017. Winner, 2015 Middle East Studies Association Undergraduate Education Award. Co-Director, Center for Near Eastern Studies, UCLA, 2015.