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Elizabeth Williams

Elizabeth Williams
Elizabeth R Williams, Ph.D.Assistant Professor
  • CollegeCollege of Fine Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
  • DepartmentHistory
  • Phone(978) 934-4262
  • Emailelizabeth_williams@uml.edu

Research Interests

History of the Modern Middle East, Ottoman History, Environmental, economic, and social history

Elizabeth’s research examines the relationship between imperial governance, expertise, and the environment. Focusing on the transition from the late Ottoman Empire to the French Mandate period, she analyzes how agricultural technologies emerging during this period intersected with the development of new strategies of rule and conceptions of expertise. By tracing the movement and activities of global, imperial and local actors in networks involved in the production of knowledge regarding these new technologies and their implementation, she investigates intellectual and practical continuities and divergences in approaches to governance during the late Ottoman and French mandate periods and their impacts on rural communities and environmental management. Her work draws on materials from Ottoman and French archives as well as sources from Lebanon, the national archives of the UK and US, and the UN FAO archives in Rome.

Education

  • Ph D: History , (2015), Georgetown University - Washington, D.C
  • MA: Near Eastern Studies, (2007), New York University - New York City, NY
  • BA: Religious Studies and English , (2000), College of William and Mary - Williamsburg, Virginia

Publications

  • Williams, E.R. () "Economy, environment, and famine: World War I from the perspective of the Syrian interior," Routledge
  • Williams, E.R. () "Environmental History of the Middle East and North Africa," Oxford University Press
  • Williams, E.R. (2015) "Mapping the Cadastre, Producing the Fellah: Technologies and Discourses of Rule in French Mandate Syria and Lebanon," Routledge
  • Williams, E.R. (2015) "The Agricultural Bank: From Ottoman Institution to French Mandate Crisis in Syria," Middle East Studies Association of North America (MESA) Annual Meeting
  • Williams, E.R. (2015) "Agriculture, Environment, and Economy in French Mandate Syria," Middle East Studies Luncheon Seminar Series at Brown University
  • Williams, E.R. (2015) "Scientific’ Agriculture and the Environment in French Mandate Syria and Lebanon.," The American Society for Environmental History (ASEH) Annual Meeting
  • Williams, E.R. (2015) "“Scientific Agriculture and the Politics of Expertise in French Mandate Syria and Lebanon," Experts and Expertise in the League of Nations Mandates: Figures, Fields, and Tools
  • Williams, E.R. (2014) "From World Exposition to Tractor Competition: Ottoman Technocrats," MESA Annual Meeting
  • Williams, E.R. (2014) "The Wartime Economy of Bilad al-Sham: A View from the Interior," The Syrian Lands during the Great War: The Fourth Army Region Symposium at Istanbul Sehir University
  • Williams, E.R. (2014) "“Labor, Land, and the ‘Politics of Difference’: The Cadastre and Its Technicians in French Mandate Syria and Lebanon," Society for French Historical Studies (SFHS) Annual Meeting
  • Williams, E.R. (2013) "Ottoman Constitutional Reform and Agricultural Change: The Travails of a Post-1908 Val," MESA Annual Meeting
  • Williams, E.R. (2013) "Mapping the Cadastre, Producing the Fellah: Technologies of Rule in French Mandate Syria and Lebanon," The Mashriq in the Age of Late Imperialism: The Mandates in Global Perspective Conference at Princeton University
  • Williams, E.R. (2013) "Mapping, Machines, and Mouchaa: Drawing the Cadastre in French Mandate Syria," ASEH Annual Meeting
  • Williams, E.R. (2012) "Nazik al-‘Abid and the Nur al-Fayha’ Society: Independent Modernity, Colonial Threat, and the Space of Women.," Intellectuals and Civil Society in the Middle East: Liberalism, Modernity, and Political Discourse pp. pp. 187-195.
  • Williams, E.R. (2012) "Cultivating Land, Negotiating Change: The History of an Ottoman Agricultural School," MESA Annual Meeting
  • Williams, E.R. (2011) "Contesting Cotton: The Production of Agricultural Space in French Mandate Syria," MESA Annual Meeting
  • Williams, E.R. (2011) "Agriculture in French Mandate Syria: Where Post-Colonialism Meets Environmental History," The Critchfield Conference in Middle East Studies at the College of William and Mary
  • Williams, E.R. (2010) "Contesting the Colonial Narrative’s Claims to Progress: A Nationalist’s Proposal for Agrarian Reform.," Review of Middle East Studies 44:2 pp. 187-195.
  • Williams, E.R. (2010) "Institutionalizing Agricultural Education in the Late Ottoman Empire," MESA Annual Meeting
  • Williams, E.R. (2009) "The Discourse and Technologies of Agrarian Reform in Mandate Syria," MESA Annual Meeting
  • Williams, E.R. (2009) "Envisioning Reform: Debating Personal Status Legal Reform for Syria during the French Mandate," The Critchfield Conference in Middle East Studies at W&M
  • Williams, E.R. (2008) "Nazik al-‘Abid and the Nur al-Fayha’ Society: Appropriating Modernity, Producing the Nation," Ninth Mediterranean Research Meeting. Florence-Montecatini Terme