I am a historian of Arab west Asia and north Africa. My contribution owes a great deal both to the opening of the archives after the Soviet Union collapsed, and to the ways in which I use techniques from literary criticism to analyze historical documents.
I completed a Master’s in Political Science at Northwestern University in 1988 (with Ibrahim Abu Lughod), and a Ph.D. in the History of the Modern Middle East at the University of Chicago (with Rashid Khalidi, Sheila Fitzpatrick, and Robert Richards). My passion for nineteenth and twentieth century Arab history owes a great deal to these outstanding scholars.
An Earlham College graduate, I was Wilkinson Scholar in the Social Sciences. While a graduate student, I taught at the University of Chicago and Auburn University; after graduating, I taught at the American University in Cairo, Cairo University, the University of Texas/Austin, the University of North Carolina/Wilmington and the Université d'Alger before joining the Texas State faculty.
I work on nineteenth-and twentieth-century workers’ movements and labor law in five Arab jurisdictions. My work incorporates the following aspects:
Gender and sexuality at work
Workers’ Individualities vs. workers’ collectivities
Industrialization and modern work
League of Nations’ mandate states and the International Labor Organization
Orientalism in modernist literature (Arab, European, Soviet)
Secularism and secularist political parties in the Arab world
Current research project
The European University Institute (Florence, Italy) sponsored a workshop that I chaired with economist Nadji Khaoui (Annaba, Algeria) on “Workers’ Movements and Nationalism in the Arab World,” as part of this past year’s Mediterranean Research Program. During the workshop, over a dozen internationally recognized scholars offered compelling insights from Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Palestine, the Sudan, and Yemen; we plan to publish these research reports shortly.
My first book, Imperialism on Trial: League of Nations Mandate States in Historical Perspective (Rowman and Littlefield, 2006), I edited with Ray Douglas and Michael Callahan. This project started during a NEH Summer Seminar on “Decolonization of the British Empire” which took place at the University of Texas during 2000; Wm. Roger Louis chaired our panel with the same title at the 2002 AHA annual meeting.
Elizabeth Bishop, Michael Callahan, and Raymond Douglas, eds. Imperialism on Trial: International Oversight of Colonial Governance in Historical Perspective. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books/Rowman & Littlefield, 2006.
Elizabeth Bishop and Guy Beckwith, eds. Technology and Civilization. Boston: Pearson Publishing, 1997.
Chapters in Books
“Control Room: Visible and Concealed Spaces of the Aswan High Dam.” In Landscapes of Development: Modernization and the Physical Environment in the Eastern Mediterranean, Panayiota Pyla, ed. Cambridge: Harvard Graduate School of Design Publications (forthcoming).
“Transition, Colonialism, Modernization; Living with ‘Ali Mubarak Pasha: State and Civil Society in Egypt.” In Living in Historic Cairo: Past and Present in an Islamic City, ed. Farhad Daftary, Elizabeth Fernea, and Azim Nanji (London: Azimuth Editions, The Institute of Islamic Studies, 2010).
"Assuan, 1959: Sowjetische Entwicklungspolitik - die Perspektive der "Gender History" In Die Sowjetunion und die Dritte Welt, Andreas Hilger, ed. (Munich: Oldenbourg Wissenschaftsverlag, “Schriftenreihe der Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte” series, 2009).
Refereed Journal Articles
“The Local and the Global: The Iraqi Revolution of 1958 Between Western and Soviet Modernities,” Ab Imperio 4 (Kazan, Russia) (2011).
“Ameen al Rihani on Statecraft in Imamic Yemen,” Social and Human Sciences Review 23 (Batna, Algeria) (December 2010).
"Fanon in Furs: Theorist for North Africa's National Liberation in Russian Translation," al-Tawasool 22 (Annaba, Algeria) (June 2008).
“Maternal Legacies: Feminist Histories in Ahdaf Soueif’s Map of Love,” Taiba: Journal of the Women and Memory Forum (Cairo, Egypt) (Spring 2004) [in Arabic].
Elizabeth Bishop, “Why Egypt Erupted
.” Austin American-Statesman
(7 February 2011).
Elizabeth Bishop, “Who Keeps Files on Whom? The Feminization of the Egyptian State.” Proceedings of the Eighth AUC Research Conference on Information Technology in Egypt
(Cairo: American University in Cairo Press, 2001).
Elizabeth Bishop, rapporteur. Jyoti Puri, “Conference Report: Transnational Feminist Sociologies: Current Challenges, Future Directions Presented by the Caucus on Gender and Sexuality in International Contexts.” Sexuality Research and Social Policy: Journal of the National Sexuality Resource Center
2:1 (March 2005).
“Yemenis in Aden as Workers and Trade Union Leaders,” workshop “Workers Movements and Nationalism in the Arab World,” Tenth Mediterranean Research Meeting, Mediterranean Programme, Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies, European University Institute, Montacatini Terme (March 2009).
“Individualism in Colonial North Africa’s Press: Droit d’auteur versus Copyright,” workshop “Between Politics, Social History, and Culture: The Press in the Middle East and North Africa Before Independence,” Ninth Mediterranean Research Meeting, Mediterranean Programme, Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies, European University Institute, Montacatini Terme (March 2008).
“Control Room: Visible and Concealed Spaces of the Aswan High Dam,” workshop “Uncertain Environments: Natural Hazards, Risk, and Insurance in Historical Perspective,” German Historical Institute, Washington DC (September 2007).
“Where You Least Expect It: Hegel and Gender, NY 1982,” [read at] symposium, “Hegel and Gender/Hegel und das Geschlect,” Finnland-Institut in Deutschland, Research Center of Excellence in Political Thought and Conceptual Change (Academy of Finland), Berlin, Germany (March 2007).
“Fanon in Furs: Theorist for North Africa’s National Liberation in Russian Translation,” summer academy, “Travelling Traditions: Comparative Perspectives on Near Eastern Literatures,” Berlin Brandenburg Academy of Sciences, Fritz Thyssen Foundation, Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin, Anis Makdisi Program in Literature (American University in Beirut), Beirut, Lebanon (September 2006).
“Three Conversations With Little Red,” [read at] IX Fulbright Summer School in the Humanities, “Consumption as Communication,” St. Petersburg, Russia (June 2006).
I am especially interested in supervising graduate students’ research in political, economic, and intellectual history of the Arab world.
I serve as faculty advisor for the Muslim Students' Association and the Model Arab League.
HIST 2312: World History Since 1300
The course is a general introduction to global history since the seventeenth century, focusing primarily on political and social developments. Students will gain a broad chronological overview of historical events including the rise of the modern state, the establishment of European hegemony over Africa and Latin America, the Enlightenment and eighteenth-century revolutions, nineteenth-century industrialization and a second wave of colonialism, followed by twentieth-century socialism, fascism, the cold war, concluding with the post-modern twenty-first century.
HIST 4325: Islamic History to 1798
This course explores the history and culture of the Arab and Muslim peoples in the Middle East and North Africa from the late 6th century to Napoleon’s invasion of Egypt in 1798. Emphasis is placed on the interrelationships of indigenous socio-economic structures and intellectual developments in Islamic theology and law.
HIST 4326: The Modern Middle East
The courses emphasizes economic, social and intellectual developments in the Middle East and North Africa in the 19th and 20th centuries. With a brief introduction on the rise and expansion of Islam, we spend more time on reforms in the Ottoman Empire and Qajar Iran. Then, emphasis shifts to the various Arab states' struggle for independence, foundation of the state of Israel, and subsequent questions of political inclusion and exclusion that characterize the region.
HIST 4350K: Gender and Militarization in the Arab World
This course considers the development of modern militaries in the Arab world. Since the middle of the nineteenth century, men and women in the Arab world live in nation-states which allocate the rights and responsibilities of citizenship to military veterans first, others later. Students will gain a broad chronological overview of national independence and the institutionalization of modern government in Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, and Lebanon.
HIST 4350N: 20th Century Middle East: Syria, Iraq, and Palestine
This upper-division course considers three of the nation-states under League of Nations mandates at the beginning of the twentieth century: Syria, Iraq, and Palestine. Students read a general history of the region in support of additional readings that offer in-depth discussion of specific issues.
HIST 4350R: Workers and Working in the Arab World
Of 255 million people in 22 predominantly-Arab countries in North Africa and the Middle East, over the past 150 years, most have worked at some kind of job or another. In this upper-level course, we will consider how labor politics introduce state regulations to gender, national and sexual identities.