Anthony Gorman

Senior Lecturer in Modern Middle Eastern History


After graduating with a BA (Hons) in Ancient History from the University of Sydney in 1982, Dr Anthony Gorman took a break from study and travelled the world for some years, including two years in the Middle East.

On returning to study in Sydney he took up a more contemporary focus and graduated with a PhD on modern Egyptian historiography from Macquarie University. Dr Gorman took up a Greek Postdoctoral Fellowship (IKY) in Athens, Greece, where he gained a Modern Greek language qualification and conducted research on the Greeks of modern Egypt, a subject on which he continues to work.

In 2000/01 he taught in the Department of Political Science at the American University in Cairo, and then took up a post as lecturer in the Department of History at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.

From 2003 to 2005 he was an AHRB Research Fellow, also at SOAS, working on the ‘Cultures of Confinement’ project, an examination of the history of the prison in Asia, Africa and Latin America.

Since 2006 Dr Gorman has taught in Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Edinburgh.


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Undergraduate teaching

  • Modern Middle Eastern History A: Domestic Transformation and International Challenges
  • Modern Middle Eastern History B: Postwar Independence and Conflict
  • The Arab-Israeli Conflict: Nations in Collision

Postgraduate teaching

  • Critical Readings in Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies (team taught)
  • The Arab-Israeli Conflict: Nations in Collision

Open to PhD supervision enquiries?


Areas of interest for supervision

Modern Egyptian history and historiography

Social and cultural Egyptian history of 19th and 20th centuries

Middle Eastern diasporas

The Anarchist Movement in the Middle East

The Press in the Middle East before 1950

Crime, Punishment and the Prison in the Middle East

The Greeks of Egypt

Current PhD students supervised

The Resettlement of the Syrian Ismaʿilis in Salamiyya in the mid-Nineteenth Century Ottoman Syria

[The Egyptian Military and the National Community]





Past PhD students supervised

Principal Supervisor

Social Mobilisations and the Public Sphere in Post-occupation Iraq (Co-super) (Awarded 2020)

Intellectual networks, language and knowledge under colonialism: the work of Stephan Stephan, Elias Haddad and Tawfiq Canaan in Palestine, 1909-1948  (Awarded 2018)     

Linguistic Practice on Contemporary Jordanian Radio: Publics and Participation (Awarded 2018)

The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine in Decline (1982-2007). Political Agency and Marginalisation (Awarded 2017)

The Ideological Transformation of Egypt’s Largest Militant Groups (Awarded 2017)

Hamas-Egypt Relations: Tactical Cooperation in the Margins of Strategic Differences due to Regime Survival Concerns (Awarded 2016)

The Making of a Resistance Identity: Communism and the Lebanese Shi'a 1943-1990 (Awarded 2016)

Negotiating the Field: American Protestant Missionaries in Ottoman Syria, 1823 to 1860s (Awarded 2009)


Second Supervisor

The transformation of the Syrian business community through the 2011 revolution (Awarded 2018)

Turkey's 'New' Foreign Policy in the Middle East: The Civil Society Factor (Awarded 2018)

Ambivalence and the National Imaginary: Nation and Canon Formation in the Emergence of the Saudi Novel (Awarded 2016)

 Income Generation Through Zakat: The Islamization Impact on Malaysian Religious Institution (Awarded 2014)

Examining Editions of The Natural History of Aleppo: Revitalizing Eighteenth-Century Texts (Awarded 2013)

Research summary

  • The history of the prison in the modern Middle East
  • Foreign communities in the modern Middle East
  • Greeks of the Middle East
  • Anarchism and radical secular politics in the modern Middle East
  • The Middle Eastern press
  • Historians and Historiography of the modern Middle East
  • The Egyptian labour movement

Project activity

  • A monograph, Prison, Punishment and Society in the Middle East, 1800-1950, to be published by the Edinburgh University Press.
  • A study of the anarchist movement in the Eastern Mediterranean before 1914
  • Cultures of Diversity: an examination of the pluralist cultural history of the Arab world before independence (forthcoming collected work)

Past project grants

CASAW Network grant (£10,000)

View all 31 publications on Research Explorer