Professor, Department of History
Alan Mikhail is a historian of the early modern Muslim world, the Ottoman Empire, and Egypt whose research and teaching focus mostly on the nature of early modern imperial rule, peasant histories, environmental resource management, and science and medicine.
Professor Mikhail is the author of Nature and Empire in Ottoman Egypt: An Environmental History (Cambridge University Press, 2011) and The Animal in Ottoman Egypt (Oxford University Press, October 2013) and editor of Water on Sand: Environmental Histories of the Middle East and North Africa (Oxford University Press, 2013). His articles have appeared in the American Historical Review, Comparative Studies in Society and History, the International Journal of Middle East Studies, the Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient, History Compass, the Bulletin of the History of Medicine; and, in Arabic, in al-Ruznama, Akhbar al-Adab, and Wijhat Nazar. Professor Mikhail serves on the editorial boards of Environmental History and the International Journal of Middle East Studies.
His first book, Nature and Empire in Ottoman Egypt: An Environmental History (Cambridge University Press, 2011), won the 2009-11 Roger Owen Book Award from the Middle East Studies Association, the Gustav Ranis International Book Prize from Yale’s MacMillan Center, and the 2011 Samuel and Ronnie Heyman Prize for Outstanding Scholarly Publication from Yale University. It was also named a book of the year by Ahram Online. His article in the International Journal of Middle East Studies won the 2009-11 Ömer Lütfi Barkan Article Prize from the Turkish Studies Association.
Professor Mikhail received his Ph.D. in 2008 from the University of California, Berkeley, where his dissertation won the Malcolm H. Kerr Award from the Middle East Studies Association and the James H. Kettner Award from the University of California, Berkeley. From 2008 to 2010, he was a member of the Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship of Scholars in the Humanities at Stanford University. His research has been supported by the Council of American Overseas Research Centers, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Fulbright-Hays Commission, the American Research Center in Egypt, and the Institute of Turkish Studies and Yale’s MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies.
He teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in the history of the early modern Muslim world and Mediterranean, the Ottoman Empire, and environmental history.
“Unleashing the Beast: Animals, Energy, and the Economy of Labor in Ottoman Egypt.” American Historical Review 118 (2013): 317-48.
“Anatolian Timber and Egyptian Grain: Things that Made the Ottoman Empire.” In Early Modern Things: Objects and Their Histories, 1500-1800, edited by Paula Findlen. New York: Routledge, 2013.
“Global Implications of the Middle Eastern Environment.” History Compass 9 (2011): 952-70.
“An Irrigated Empire: The View from Ottoman Fayyum.” International Journal of Middle East Studies 42 (2010): 569-90.
“Animals as Property in Early Modern Ottoman Egypt.” Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient 53 (2010): 621-52.
“The Nature of Plague in Late Eighteenth-Century Egypt.” Bulletin of the History of Medicine 82 (2008): 249-75