Adam Mestyan
Assistant Professor of History

Adam Mestyan is a historian of the modern Arab world, whose research and teaching focus on the global social history of nation-state building, nationalism, and sovereignty in the region from the late Ottoman period until today. He was a Junior Fellow at the Harvard Society of Fellows, and recipient of numerous grants and fellowships.

Currently, he is working on his second monograph, Modern Arab Kingship, an international history of Arab monarchies and Western imperialism from the late nineteenth century until the 1950s in the former Ottoman territories. In addition, he is preparing for his next project about law, nature, and inequality in twentieth-century Arab countries. His first monograph, Arab Patriotism: The Ideology and Culture of Power in Late Ottoman Egypt (Princeton University Press, 2017), explores, through an archive-based institutional history, how the Ottoman ruling elite of Egypt instrumentalized Arabic and European works to legitimize their power between the 1840s and the 1890s. The book also includes a microhistory of the Cairo Opera House.

He is committed to create free and online tools for scholarship and the public. He supervises an online bibliography project on Arabic periodicals: Jara'id: A Chronology of Nineteenth-Century Periodicals in Arabic; co-directs a digital humanities project on the urban history of Cairo; and another digital humanities project on Islamic book history.

He welcomes research students interested in any aspect of this region's modern history in the global context who wish to carry out research based on primary sources in the languages of the region.

Office Hours

Wednesday 1-3 pm or by appointment.

Current Appointments & Affiliations

Contact Information

Some information on this profile has been compiled automatically from Duke databases and external sources. (Our About page explains how this works.) If you see a problem with the information, please write to Scholars@Duke and let us know. We will reply promptly.