Department of History and the College
Aaron Jakes is a historian of the modern Middle East with a focus on the historical geography of capitalism, environmental history, and political and social movements. His first book, Egypt’s Occupation: Colonial Economism and the Crises of Capitalism (Stanford University Press, 2020), explores both the political economy of British imperialism in Egypt and the role of political-economic thought in the struggles over British rule that took shape in the early decades of the 20th century. He is currently working on a two-century history of the Suez Canal and the colossal waterway’s many roles in the production of global inequalities.
His scholarly work has appeared in Antipode, Critical Historical Studies, International Journal of Middle East Studies, Arab Studies Journal, and Comparative Studies of Society and History. His doctoral dissertation received both the Middle East Studies Association’s Malcolm H. Kerr Dissertation Award in the Social Sciences and New York University’s Dean’s Outstanding Dissertation Award in the Humanities. More recently, Egypt’s Occupation received honorable mention for the Middle East Studies Association’s Roger Owen Book Award.
Jakes holds a BA in history from Yale University, an MPhil in modern Middle Eastern studies from the University of Oxford, and a PhD in history and Middle Eastern and Islamic studies from New York University. Most recently, he was an assistant professor of historical studies at The New School in New York City.