Ahmad Shokr is a historian of the modern Middle East. His teaching and research interests include the political economy of empire and decolonization, the history of capitalism, the history of economic thought, environmental history, and postcolonial state formation. He is currently working on a book manuscript about the relationship between state power and economic management during the era of decolonization. Set in Egypt between the 1920s and the 1960s, it looks at transformations in the world of financial and physical infrastructure around Egyptian cotton as a lens to understand changing forms of the state and geographies of state power, the politics of postcolonial nationalism, and the reorganization of global capitalism during this period.
Professor Shokr holds a Ph.D. in History and Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies from New York University. In 2016-2017, he will be a Junior Research Fellow at the Crown Center for Middle East Studies at Brandeis University. His writings on historical and contemporary political issues have appeared in Arab Studies Journal, Middle East Report, Jadaliyya, and Economic and Political Weekly. He is also a contributor to several volumes, including Dispatches from the Arab Spring: Understanding the New Middle East (University of Minnesota Press, 2013) and The Journey to Tahrir: Revolution, Protest, and Social Change in Egypt (Verso, 2012).
At Swarthmore, Professor Shokr teaches a variety of courses, including surveys of modern Middle East history, states and social movements in the twentieth-century Middle East, the history of capitalism, and postcolonial environmental history.