Field: Middle East; Advisor: Khalidi; Year: 2016
Nada Khalifa is a scholar of empire, war and revolution in the modern Middle East, subjects she engages through a study of informational cultures and the production of investigative writing in moments of profound social and political upheaval. Such moments of crisis, as Nada demonstrates in her dissertation, help us understand the normative imaginaries of social order that have galvanized political movements in the region, in particular constitutionalists, liberals, and Islamic reformers. They also allow us to understand anew the varied contexts in which political ideals are formulated, contested and modified, as well the process of their appropriation by the different groups of social actors who participate in working out the implications of these ideas—men of politics, women activists, bureaucrats, intellectuals, scholars and humanitarians, but also victims of state violence, investigators and witnesses to atrocity. Funded by a four-year doctoral fellowship from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, Nada's dissertation work is based on extensive archival research in diplomatic archives in Britain and France, Arabic publications and scholarly works, as well as memoirs and literary journalism. In the future, she hopes to move outside the framework of diplomatic history to better integrate her work into the intellectual history field.