INCOMING FACULTY PROFILE: AMY AISEN ELOUAFI
As a historian of the Middle East, I combine the history of the Ottoman Empire to the fields of women and gender studies, and colonial and postcolonial theory. My current research explores the importance of family in social, cultural and political domains in the Ottoman province of Tunis from the late eighteenth to the early nineteenth century. By focusing on the family, I demonstrate the relevance of women’s social, economic and political activities using gender theories to counter the tendency to view women as marginal to Middle Eastern societies in general and Tunisia in particular. While this is a local tale, it is also the tale of empires, thus connecting my knowledge of the Ottoman Empire to my interests in colonial and post-colonial studies.
This project is based on extensive research in the Tunisian National Archives in Arabic and French, undertaken during numerous extended trips to Tunis (where I also met my husband). Throughout my graduate studies I have worked with specialists on the Middle East and the Ot- toman Empire such as Edmund Burke III, Beshara Doumani, and Leslie Pierce, and have collaborated with Tunisian academics at the University of Tunis and through the DIRASET program. I have worked with the Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee in San Francisco and am currently a member of both the Middle East Studies Association and the American Institute for Maghreb Studies. I look forward to joining the Middle East Studies Program at Syracuse and the History Department, where I will be teaching courses on the Ottoman Empire, the modern Middle East, and Gender and Colonialism.