| Nelly Hanna

Nelly Hanna


Professor of Middle Eastern History and Chair of the Department of Arab and Islamic Civilizations


The American University of Cairo


Hanna earned her Doctorat d’Etat at the University of Aix en Provence in France. She has been teaching full-time at AUC since 1991. She has also been professor/ guest lecturer at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (May-June 1998), at Harvard University (January-June 2001), and at Waseda University, Tokyo (December 2008-January 2009).
Hanna's research interests are in the Ottoman history of the Arab world (1500-1800) with special focus on the economic, social and cultural aspects of this period. Her interest in this period started with a study of middle class housing in 17th and 18th century Cairo, undertaken both as an archival study based on court records and a study of the architecture of remaining houses. While researching this subject in the archives, she became interested in the material she found on a 17th century merchant, who eventually became the subject of a book on his life, his business ventures and his family. The research for this book entailed much reading on economic history. Hanna is still pursuing this channel in her current research.

Selected Publications


Society and Economy in Egypt and the Eastern Mediterranean, 1600-1900, Essays in Honor of Andre Raymond, edited by Nelly Hanna and Raouf Abbas, AUC Press, Cairo, 2005.

In Praise of Books, a Cultural History of Cairo’s Middle Class 16-18th centuries, Syracuse University Press, Syracuse, 2003.

Money, Land and Trade: An Economic History of the Muslim Mediterranean, edited with an introduction by Nelly Hanna, I.B. Tauris in association with the European Science Foundation, London, 2002.

Making Big Money in 1600: The Life and Times of Isma`il Abu Taqiyya, Egyptian Merchant, Syracuse University Press, Syracuse 1998.[Co-published at AUC Press, Cairo, 1998. Translated into Arabic, 1998; translated into Turkish, 2006.]

The State and its Servants, editor and contributor, AUC Press, Cairo, 1995.

Articles and Book Chapters

" `Abd Allah al-Shubrawi," in Essays in Arabic Literary Bibliography, 1350-1850, (eds.) Joseph E. Lowry and Devin J. Stewart(Wiesbaden: Harrassowiz, 2009) p. 376-85.

“Guilds in Recent Historical Scholarship,” in The City in the Islamic World, edited by Salma K. Jassuyi, Renata Holod, Attilio Petruccioli, Andre Raymond, Brill, Leiden, Boston, 2008, p. 895-922.

“Literacy and the ‘Great Divide” in the Islamic World, 1300-1800,” Journal of Global History, 2007, vol. 2 p. 175-194.

"Sources for the Study of Slave Women and Concubines in Ottoman Egypt," in Beyond the Exotic, Women’s Histories in Islamic Societies, edited by Amira El-Azhary Sonbol, p. 119-130, Syracuse Univ Press, Syracuse, 2005.

"Ottoman Egypt and the French Expedition: Some Long-Term Trends," in Napoleon in Egypt, edited by Irene Bierman, with an introduction by Afaf Lutfi Al-Sayyid Marsot, Ithica Press in association with the Gustave E. von Grunebaum Center, Los Angeles, 2003, 5-12.

“The Chronicles of Ottoman Egypt: History or Entertainment?” in The Historiography of Islamic Egypt (c. 950-1800), edited by High Kennedy, Brill: Leiden, 2001, p. 237-250.

“Coffee and Coffee Merchants in Cairo, 1580-1630,” in Le Commerce du café avant l’ere des plantations coloniales, edited by Michel Tuscherer, Cairo: Institut francais d’archeologie orientale, 2001, p. 91-101.

“Cairo at the Turn of the Century,” in Dirasat fil-Tarikh wal-Thaqafa al-‘Arabiyya, edited by ‘Ubada Kuhayla, al-Dar al-Misriyya al-Lubnaniyya, Cairo, 2001, p. 13-26.

“Merchants and the Economy in Cairo, 1600-1650.” In Etudes sur Les Villes du Proche-Orient XVIe-XIX siecle, Hommage a Andre Raymond, edited by Brigitte Marino, Damascus: Institut francais d’etudes arabes de Damas, 2001, p. 225-236.

 "The Urban History of Cairo around 1900: A Reinterpretation” in Historians in Cairo, Essays in Honor of George Scanlon, edited by Jill Edwards, AUC Press, 2002, p. 189-202.


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