Between the Ottomans and the Entente: the First World War in the Syrian and Lebanese Diaspora, 1908- 1925 is published with Oxford University Press (2019). A social history of transnational activism in the Syrian and Lebanese diaspora from the 1908 Young Turk Revolution through the early French Mandate, the book vividly illustrates the precarious position Syrians and Lebanese found themselves in as they occupied a fraught liminal space in Ottoman, French, and American law, while also stressing the agency of mahjari activists who organized, petitioned, and engaged in contentious debates over what a post-Ottoman Middle East should look like.
“The mahjar, in Fahrenthold’s framing, was neither an appendage of the
homeland nor peripheral. Rather, the space of the mahjar and its constituents were key historical forces that shaped development of politics, culture, and institutions that emerged within the post-Ottoman space. Syrians and Lebanese in the mahjar were at once engaged in the politics of their homelands and the countries where they settled.” – Global Change, Peace & Security
“Written in the midst of the horrific Syrian refugee crisis as well as a rising tide of xenophobia and trenchant nationalism around the globe, Fahrenthold’s exploration of migration, citizenship, repatriation, and an early American ‘Muslim ban’ invite the reader to reflect on both past and present.” – NBN Middle East Studies
“The book opens up new avenues for researching political history of the Middle East. We are challenged to think about how migration impacts the politics of Syria and perhaps gives us historical perspective on what the current Syrian refugee crisis might mean.” – The New Arab/al-Araby al-Jadid
“Arab Labor Migration in the Americas, 1880–1930” in the Oxford Research Encyclopedia of American History (2019).
“An Archaeology of Rare Books in Arab Atlantic History” in the Journal of American Ethnic History (2018).
“Former Ottomans in the ranks: pro-Entente military recruitment among Syrians in the Americas, 1916–1918” in the Journal of Global History (2016)..
“Sound Minds in Sound Bodies: Transnational Philanthropy & Patriotic Masculinity in al-Nadi al-Homsi and Syrian Brazil,” International Journal of Middle East Studies (2014).
“Transnational modes and media: the Syrian press in the Mahjar and emigrant activism during World War I” in Mashriq & Mahjar (2013).
Original Work in Digital Outlets
“Essential Readings: Emigration from the Levant, 1870-1930: A Primer in Mahjar Studies,” Jadaliyya (2019).
“A Little Advice: Syrian American Advice Booklets as Knowledge Production,” Migrant Knowledge: a GHI-West Blog (2019).
“Teaching Migrant and Refugee Histories in the Shadow of Trump,” IEHS Online: the Immigration and Ethnic History Society Website (2017).
“What we can learn from America’s Other Muslim Ban (back in 1918),” Tropics of Meta: Historiography for the Masses (2017).
Entries in Cultural Exchange in a Time of Global Conflict: Colonials, Neutrals, and Belligerents during the First World War (2016).
“An Arab American Intelligence Officer.”
“An Arab American soldier writes home.”
“The Other Arab Revolt: on Syrian Mobilization at the Microlevel.” World War I in the Middle East and North Africa NEH Summer Seminar web project at Georgetown University (2014).
Cultural Exchange in a Time of Global Conflict: Colonials, Neutrals, and Belligerents during the First World War Sourcebook, King’s College London/Humanities in the European Research Area (HERA), November 2016.
- “Photograph of an Arab American military intelligence officer, 1919”
- “Letter by an Arab American soldier writing home from the front, 1918”
“The Syrian and Lebanese American Federation: a Case for Connection.” In Connections and Ruptures: America and the Middle East, edited by Robert Myers, 273-288. Beirut: American University of Beirut Press, 2011.
“Mother Syria and Syrian Motherhood: Imagining Mahjar Nationality between Ideal and Real.” Zaytoon Graduate Student Journal 1 (Spring 2009), 5-16.
- Awarded the 2016 Syrian Studies Association Outstanding Dissertation Prize.
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The Latest 30 Posts
- New Texts Out Now interview with Jadaliyya
- Interview on New Books Network Middle East Studies
- New publication: “Arab Labor Migration in the Americas, 1880–1930” in the Oxford Research Encyclopedia of American History
- Between the Ottomans and the Entente Reviewed in the New Arab
- New Piece on Jadaliyya/MESPI
- New brief piece on Syrian American advice literature
- Between the Ottomans and the Entente featured on the Ottoman History Podcast
- New Book! Between the Ottomans and the Entente is shipping!
- New Publication: “An Archaeology of Rare Books in Arab Atlantic History” in Journal of American Ethnic Studies
- Public Talk on Passports and Post-Ottoman Nationalities, May 29 at the University of Washington
- Book review: Jeffrey Grey’s The War with the Ottoman Empire
- Brief piece online: The Power of Small Stories: a Syrian Abroad in World War I
- Found: George Matook (Massachusetts State Library Archives)
- Book Review: Crescent over Another Horizon: Islam in Latin America, the Caribbean, and Latino USA in the Journal of American Ethnic History
- Interview on CSPAN’s American History Television
- New piece published: “Teaching Migrant and Refugee Histories in the Shadow of Trump” in IEHS Online
- April 4 event on Fresno State campus: Symposium for Syrian Refugees
- New collaboration: AJ+ digital short on Syrian immigration to Boston
- New piece, “What We Can Learn from America’s Other Muslim Ban (Back in 1918),” appears in Tropics of Meta
- Ottoman Minorities Workshop at Fresno State: a summary of events
- Fresno Media coverage of Trump’s Executive Order and its impact on campus life
- State of the Field Roundtable session at OAH meeting in New Orleans
- In the press: interview with Fresno’s GV Wire on Syrian conflict
- In the press: Armenian Action covers Elyse Semerdjian’s visit at Fresno State
- Making Nations in the Mahjar awarded Syrian Studies Association Dissertation Prize
- SSA special roundtable at the Middle East Studies Association Annual Meeting in Boston
- Elyse Semerdjian to present “Ottoman History from the Margins” at Fresno State
- New Web Publication: Arab American sources for Sourcebook on Cultural Exchanges during First World War
- New position: Visiting Assistant Professor of Islamic World History at California State University, Fresno
- New web publication on 2015 meeting with USCIS Asylum officers on Syrian refugees