Field: Middle East; Advisor: Khalidi; Year: 2016
Nada Khalifa specializes in the political and intellectual history of the modern Middle East. Her dissertation, "After the Fact: Social Investigation and Constitutionalism in Egypt and Bilād al-Shām, 1908-1923," offers a new interpretation of the interplay between projects of imperial expansion and movements for self-determination in Egypt and the Arab provinces of the Ottoman Empire from the Young Turk Revolution (1908) through to the ratification of the Treaty of Lausanne (1923). It integrates developments at the international level with regional processes of self-reckoning and identity formation through an examination of investigative writing and its production. Drawing on documentary repositories assembled by government inspectorates, commissions of inquiry and social scientific expeditions, each chapter explores how Ottoman, British, French and American experts, intellectuals and activists navigated a transitional conjuncture marked by the collapse of longstanding structures of political and social authority. In dialogue with literature on Wilsonianism and the genesis of the mandates system in the Middle East, the dissertation argues that the influential proposals for constitutional and administrative reform advanced during this period were conditioned by competing systems of information-gathering constructed to contain the effects of war and revolution.
Nada received her B.A. (2014) and M.A. (2016) from the University of Toronto before continuing her studies at Columbia, where she is affiliated with the Institute for Comparative Literature and Society. Her research is supported by grants from Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and the Sakıp Sabancı Center for Turkish Studies.