Department of History

Faiz Ahmed

Joukowsky Family Distinguished Associate Professor of Modern Middle Eastern History
Sharpe House 228
Areas of Expertise Middle East
Office Hours On leave this semester


In 2023 Professor Ahmed is on sabbatical and a Visiting Fellow at Harvard Law School in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Faiz Ahmed is a historian of the Ottoman Empire and modern Middle East. Trained as a lawyer and social historian, Ahmed’s primary specializations are the late Ottoman and British empires, Afghanistan, and diasporic communities tied to the region we today call the Middle East. From the Khyber Pass to the Suez Canal, Ahmed’s core research and teaching engage questions of human mobility, travel, and migration; students, scholars, and networks of learning and expertise; and the intersections of law, citizenship, and diplomacy. 

Ahmed’s first book Afghanistan Rising: Islamic Law and Statecraft between the Ottoman and British Empires was awarded the American Historical Association’s John Richards Prize in 2018. Pivoting to the western hemisphere, his current book project Ottoman Americana: The Late Ottoman Empire and the Early United States (under contract with Princeton University Press) examines the social, economic, and legal underpinnings of Ottoman-US ties from the eighteenth to twentieth centuries, as seen from Ottoman perspectives. Ahmed’s published articles can be found in journals of law, history, and Middle East Studies, including Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa, and the Middle East; Global Jurist; International History Review; International Journal of Middle East Studies; Iranian Studies; Jadaliyya; Journal of Ottoman Studies; Journal of the Ottoman and Turkish Studies Association; and Perspectives on History. Featured interviews can be found in national radio to history channels and local news, including Borderlines, Ottoman History Podcast, NPR’s Throughline, and The Boston Globe. Dr. Ahmed is also co-organizer with Brown University colleagues Michael Vorenberg, Rebecca Nedostup, and Emily Owens of the Brown Legal History Workshop and Brown Legal Studies collaborative.