• Hoda Yousef
Assistant Professor of History



Office: STA308


Hoda Yousef is a historian of the modern Middle East and the Islamic World with a focus on cultural and social history and gender in society. In her research she has developed a particular interest in the way social and culture assumptions and discourses influenced the course of modernizing states, national educational systems, and the contours of social life.

She is currently working on a manuscript entitled Composing Egypt: Reading, Writing, and  the Emergence of a Modern Nation, 1870-1930 (forthcoming June 2016, Stanford University Press) that focuses on Arabic language literacy as site of contention and widespread social change. In it she argues that changes in how Egyptian men and women wrote, read, and perceived the Arabic language fundamentally altered the communal life of Egyptian society between the 1870s and 1920s and that new kinds of engagements with the Arabic language transformed the way Egyptians related to the written word, civic participation, and gendered roles in the public sphere.


Ph.D. Georgetown University, History, 2011

M.A. Georgetown University, Arab Studies, 2006.

B.A. Duke University, Computer Science/African and Asian Literature & Language, 2001


Middle East History, Islamic History, Gender Studies, Literacy and Education.


Composing Egypt: Reading, Writing, and  the Emergence of a Modern Nation, 1870-1930 (forthcoming June 2016, Stanford University Press)

“The First Generation of Egyptian Public School Parents and Students, 1820s to 1920s” in The “Arab Spring:” Education & Social Change In Egypt (forthcoming)

"Seeking the Educational Cure: Egypt and European Education, 1805-1920s." European Education, Winter 2012-13.

“Malak Hifni Nasif: Negotiations of a Feminist Agenda between the European and the Colonial.” Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies, Winter 2011.

“Reassessing Egypt's Dual System of Education under Ismail: Growing Ilm and Shifting Ground in Egypt's First Educational Journal, Rawdat al-Madaris, 1870- 1877.” International Journal of Middle East Studies, February 2008.


"The Three Pleas of Jalila: Negotiating Poverty and Patriarchy, 1908-1913" Middle East Studies Association, Denver (November 2015)

“Answering “Answering Amin: Early Responses to and Reformulations of ‘The Women Question’” Middle East Studies Association, Washington DC (November 2014)

“Writing to be Seen: Public Literacies and Petitions in Egypt, 1900-1930" Middle East Studies Association, New Orleans (October 2013)

“The Politics of Literacies: Egyptian Debates at the turn of the 20th Century” American Research Center in Egypt (May 2009)

“Malak Hifni Nasif: Between Cultural and Patriarchal 'Others'" Gender & Empire Workshop, American University in Cairo (May 2007)

“Imagining a Movement: Abd al-Rahman al-Kawakibi's Umm al-Qura” Phi Alpha Theta Regional Conference, Chestertown, MD (March 2007)

Grants & Awards

Research Fellow at the American Research Center of Egypt

Middle East Studies Association Graduate Student Paper Prize

Hisham Sharabi Graduate Essay Award, Honorable Mention

Fellow at the Center for Arabic Studies Abroad

Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowship for Arabic

Course Information

History of the Islamic World to 1800

Modern Middle East

Gender and the Nation in the Modern Middle East

Piracy, Migration, and Slavery: Turning Turk in the Mediterranean World

History of Women in the Modern Middle East

The Street and the Square: Public Space in the Modern Middle East