Joel Beinin

Donald J. McLachan Professor in History

At Stanford Since

Ph.D. University of Michigan (History);A.M.L.S. University of Michigan (Library Science); A.M. Harvard University (Middle East Studies); A.B. Princeton University (Near Eastern Studies) magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa
Complete CV: 

Research Interests

The modern social histories of Egypt, Israel and Palestine have been my principal research areas. However, my interests are broad and eclectic. My intellectual profile has been formed by engagement with political economy, cultural studies, and comparative empire studies. At Stanford I have taught a broad range of courses from the rise of Islam to the present.

Courses Taught


  • The Formation of the Contemporary Middle East

Colloquia and Seminars:

  • Palestine and the Arab-Israeli Conflict
  • The American Empire in the Middle East Since the Cold War
  • Modern Egypt
  • Economic and Social History of the Modern Middle East
  • Research Seminar in the Modern Middle East



Book cover: Social Movements, Mobilization and Contestation in the Middle East and North AfricaSocial Movements, Mobilization, and Contestation in the Middle East and North Africa (Stanford University Press, 2011) co-edited with Frédéric Vairel





Book cover, The Struggle for Worker rights in EgyptThe Struggle for Worker Rights in Egypt (Washington, DC: Solidarity Center, 2010)




book coverThe Struggle for Sovereignty: Palestine and Israel, 1993-2005 (Stanford University Press, 2006); co-edited with Rebecca L. Stein





book coverThe Dispersion of Egyptian Jewry: Culture, Politics, and the Formation of a Modern Diaspora (University of California Press, 1998; paperback edition, American University of Cairo Press, 2005).





Book cover, The Struggle for Worker rights in EgyptWorkers and Peasants in the Modern Middle East (Cambridge University Press, 2001)





book coverPolitical Islam: Essays from Middle East Report (University of California Press, 1996); co-edited with Joe Stork





book coverWas the Red Flag Flying There? Marxist Politics and the Arab-Israeli Conflict in Egypt and Israel, 1948-1965 (University of California Press, 1990). Arabic translation: al-`Alam al-ahmar: hal kana yurafrif hunak? al-siyasat al-markisiyya wa'l-niza` al-`arabi al-isra'ili (Cairo: Dar al-Thaqafa al-Jadida, 1996)




book coverIntifada: The Palestinian Uprising Against Israeli Occupation (South End Press, 1989); co-edited with Zachary Lockman





book coverWorkers on the Nile: Nationalism, Communism, Islam and the Egyptian Working Class, 1882-1954 (Princeton University Press, 1987); co-autho red with Zachary Lockman. Arabic translation: al-`Ummal wa'l-haraka al-siyasiyya fi misr: al-wataniyya, al-shuyu`iyya, al-islamiyya, 2 vols. (Cairo: Markaz al-Buhuth al-`Arabiyya, 1992, 1996). 2nd edition: American University in Cairo Press (1998)




Recent Articles and Book Chapters
(For complete list see CV)

  • Social Movements, Mobilization, and Contestation in the Middle East and North Africa, 2nd ed. (Stanford University Press, 2013); co-edited with Frédéric Vairel.
  •  The Struggle for Worker Rights in Egypt (Washington, DC: Solidarity Center, 2010).
  • “Les ouvriers et les soulèvements arabes de 2011,” Le Mouvement Social no. 245 (forthcoming 2014).
  • “Mixing, Separation, and Violence in Urban Spaces and the Rural Frontier in Palestine,” Arab Studies Journal 21 (no. 1, Spring 2013):10-43.
  • “Workers’ Protest in Egypt: Neo-Liberalism and Class Struggle in the 21st Century,” Social Movement Studies 8 (no. 4, Nov. 2009):449–454.
  • “Essor et déclin du paradigme marxiste/nationaliste de gauche dans Le Moyen-Orient Arabe,” Cahiers d’histoire: revue d’histoire critique, no. 104 (avril-juin 2008):169-88. 
  • “Forgetfulness for Memory: The Limits of the New Israeli History,” Journal of Palestine Studies 35 (no. 2, winter 2005):6-23.
  • “Political Islam and the New Global Economy: The Political Economy of an Egyptian Social Movement,” The New Centennial Review 5 (no. 1, spring 2005):111-39.
  • The Left, the Jews and Defenders of Israel: A Review Essay,” Middle East Report Online, August, 2012.
  • “Egyptian Workers and January 25th: A Social Movement in Historical Context,” Social Research 79 (no. 2, Summer 2012):323-48. 
  • The Rise of Egypt’s Workers,” Carnegie Papers, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace,” June 2012.
  • “The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict and the Arab Awakening,” Palestine-Israel Journal 18 (no. 1, 2012):52-60.

Recent Journalism and Analysis of Current Events
(For complete list see CV)

Fellowships. Grants and Awards

  • VPUE Faculty Grant for Undergraduate Research, 2010-11
  • Hewlett Faculty Research Grant, 2010
  • Palestinian American Research Center Research Grant, 2010
  • Ford Foundation, grant for a monthly interdisciplinary seminar and an international workshop on “Islamists and Democrats,” Middle East Studies Center, AUC, 2006-08 ($75,000)
  • Fellow, Center for Arabic Study Abroad, AUC, fall 2004
  • Stanford University Knight Journalism Fellows, Favorite Professor Award, 2004
  • Graduate Service Recognition Award, 2004
  • Hewlett Faculty Research Grant, 2003
  • Distinguished Visiting Professor, Department of History, AUC, December 2002
  • Mellon Foundation Sawyer Seminar grant, Stanford University, 2002-04 ($110,000)
  • Fellow, Stanford Humanities Center, 1987-88; 1999-2000
  • University of California Humanities Research Institute Fellowship, 2000 (declined)
  • Hewlett Faculty Research Grant, 1997
  • Social Science Research Council Advanced Research Grant, 1994
  • Fulbright Research Grant, 1992-93
  • Dean’s Award for Distinguished Teaching, 1990
  • National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Stipend, 1987
  • Fellow, American Research Center in Egypt, 1986
  • Pew Foundation Grant, 1985, 1987
  • National Endowment for the Humanities Travel to Collections Grant, 1984, 1988        
  • Fellow, Fulbright‑Hays Doctoral Dissertation Abroad Program, 1980-81

University Service

  • Chair, Dept. of History Middle East Search Committee, 2008-09, 2010-11
  • Coordinator, Worlds of Islam, Freshman Humanities sequence, 2005-07
  • Director of Graduate Study, Dept. of History, 2002-04, 2005-06
  • Dept. of History, Africa search committee, 2003-04
  • Chair, Dept. of History Graduate Admissions and Fellowships Committee, 2000-02
  • Chair, Dept. of History Modern Islamic History Search Committee, 1998-99
  • Organizer, Dept. of History, Curriculum in Empires & Cultures Pedagogical Workshop, Sept. 14-18, 1998
  • Coordinator, Workshop on Empires and Cultures, 1995-97, 1999-2001, 2002-03; co-organizer, annual symposia of May 31, 1996, June 7, 1997, May 20, 2000
  • Dept. of History, Graduate Admissions and Fellowships Committee, 1996-97, 1998-99
  • Dept. of History, Curriculum Committee, 1997-98
  • Faculty advisor, Stanford delegation to West Coast Model League of Arab States, Berkeley, CA, Mar. 26-28, 1998
  • Chair, Dept. of History, Affirmative Action Committee, 1995-97; member, 2002-03
  • Resident Fellow, Potter House, 1995-99

Ph.D Theses Supervised

  • Brandon Wolfe-Hunnicutt, “The End of the Concessionary Regime: Oil and American Power in Iraq, 1958-1972” (2011)
  • Marwan Hanania, “From Colony to Capital: A Socio-Economic and Political History of Amman, 1878-1958” (2010)
  • Jennifer Derr, “The Geography of Authority: Environmental Infrastructure, Cash Crop Agriculture, and Property Relations in Southern Egypt, 1868-1931” (2009)
  • Brant Downes, “The Making of the Modern Ottoman Waterfront: Salonica and Beirut in the Late Nineteenth Century,” (2007)
  • Max Weiss, “Institutionalizing Sectarianism: Law, Religious Culture, and the Remaking of Shi‘i Lebanon, 1920-1947,” (2007) – Malcolm H. Kerr Dissertation Prize in Social Sciences, Middle East Studies Association, 2007.
  • Toby Jones, “The Dogma of Development: Technopolitics and the Making of Modern Saudi Arabia, 1950-80,” (2007).
  • Shira Robinson, “Occupied Citizens in a Liberal State: Palestinians under Military Rule and the Colonial Formation of Israeli Society, 1948-1966,” (2006) – Ben Halpern Biennial Dissertation Award, 2004-2005, Association for Israel Studies.
  • Michelle Campos, “Between ‘‘beloved Ottomania’’ and ‘‘the land of Israel’’ in the Jewish Yishuv in Palestine, 1903–1914,” (2005).
  • Nancy Reynolds, “Commodity Communities: Interweavings of Market Cultures, Consumption Practices, and Social Power in Egypt, 1907-1961,” (2003)
  • Robert Blecher, “The Medicalization of Sovereignty: Medicine, Public Health and Political Authority in Syria, 1861-1936,” (2002).

Professional Affiliations

  • Consulting Editor, International Labor and Working Class History, 2010-
  • Co-Editor, Stanford Studies in Middle Eastern and Islamic Societies and Cultures, 2004-
  • President, Middle East Studies Association of North America (MESA), 2001-02
  • Board of Directors, MESA, 1993-96, 2000-03
  • Editorial Committee, Middle East Report, 1981-97, 2003-06 (Chair 1987; Reviews Editor, 1988-95; Contributing Editor, 1999-2003, 2007-  )