History Department
History Department

Christopher Rose

MA, Middle Eastern Studies, The University of Texas at Austin

Doctoral Candidate, ABD
Christopher Rose



Social history of disease and public health; Egypt in the Islamic period; development and urbanization in pre-modern and early modern Cairo


Christopher Rose studies the early modern Arab world, concentrating on the intersections of colonial power, rural resistance, environmental factors and disease in Egypt and the Levant between 1850 and 1920. He has also extensively studied the history of early Islam, medieval Egypt, and Islamic Spain (711-1492).

He is currently a Teaching Assistant and Discussion leader for the Department of History at UT-Austin; he has also taught as an Assistant Instructor in the Department of Middle Eastern Studies at UT-Austin. He is also an Adjunct Instructor in the University Studies Program at St. Edward's University in Austin.

He holds a Master's Degree in Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Texas, where he worked on slavery in theory and practice in Islamic law. He completed his BA in International Service at American University in Washington, DC, during which he spent a year abroad studying at the American University in Cairo.  

He has extensive experience traveling in the Middle East, including Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Morocco, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey, Uzbekistan and the West Bank, and has done archival work in the UK, the US, and Switzerland.  He speaks Egyptian Arabic, Modern Standard Arabic, and Spanish, and reads French and Portuguese.

He is one of the cohosts of 15 Minute History, a podcast for history educators that is a partnership between Hemispheres and NOT EVEN PAST.

He is currently President of the Middle East Outreach Council, a nationwide organization of educators and outreach professionals dedicated to teaching about the Middle East and its diverse cultures in an accessible, non-partisan manner.

During his lengthy tenure as Outreach Director at UT’s Center for Middle Eastern Studies (2000-2016), he conducted numerous professional development sessions for educators, co-wrote several curriculum units for K-12 classrooms, and took numerous groups of educators to the Middle East. 

Self-portrait in a mirror, FezChris has received grants through the Fulbright-Hays Seminars Abroad "Between East and West" in Turkey and Cyprus in 2004 & "Religious Diversity in North Africa" in Morocco and Tunisia, 2011; and co-led Group Projects Abroad: Egypt in 2005), the Malone Fellowship in Arab and Islamic Studies that allowed him to visit the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in 2005; several University of Texas Liberal Arts Instructional Technology Awards; and a research grant from the Department of History. He was a finalist for a Fulbright research grant for Egypt for the 2016-2017 year when the program was cancelled due to security concerns. 

He has been part of delegations representing the University of Texas at Austin to institutions of higher learning and other educational bodies in both the Middle East/North Africa and South Asia.

He has served as a review panelist for the Fulbright-Hays Seminars Abroad program, as panelist and chair of the Middle East Book Award committee, and chaired the selection committee for the National Council for the Social Studies' Award for Global Understanding given in honor of James M. Becker.



HIS F306K • Intro M East: Rel/Cul/Hist Fnd

83195 • Summer 2017
Meets MTWTHF 11:30AM-1:00PM PAR 210
(also listed as MES F301K, R S F314K)

This course will focus on the history the Southwest Asia / North Africa region (commonly referred to as the “Middle East”) from the period from prior to the rise of Islam to the rise of the Ottoman and Safavid Empires in the 13th-15th centuries of the Christian Era (CE). Students will be introduced to the political, cultural, and social dimensions of the region framed against a historical narrative in three sections. Each section will feature a short writing component, quizzes, and an examination at the end.

This course will emphasize the concept of history-as-inquiry. High school history survey courses tend to teach history as a set of facts to which there are right answers and wrong answers. This course will not only examine what we know about the Southwest Asia / North Africa region during this pivotal period, but also to ask the questions of how we know what we know about it. What kinds of evidence exist to prove “what happened”? Are historians in agreement on this?

The first section will deal with the Rise of Islam and the Umayyad and Abbasid Empires. Islamic civilization will form a key component of our exploration of this region, and we will spend some time discussing key figures, concepts, and events in its development. Who was Muhammad? What is the Qur’an? What is the difference between Sunni and Shi’a, and when those differences appear?

The second section will look at Everyday Life in the Islamic World. Here, we will examine the lived experience of average people during this period. How did Muslims experience their faith on a practical level? What did one do for fun? What did people eat, and where? What did art and architecture look like? What happened in a medieval university? What did people do when they got sick? What was it like to be a non-Muslim living in these so-called “Islamic” states?

The third section will look at the period From the Abbasids to the Gunpowder Empires. Here, we will examine a couple of turbulent centuries that saw the fall of the Abbasid empire and the Umayyad state in Spain and the new powers that rose to their their places after the Crusades and Mongol invasions. We’ll also examine the impact of the Black Death and the arrival of the Turkic peoples in the region before examining the rise of the two so-called “Gunpowder Empires,” the Ottomans and Safavids.