History Department
History Department

Christopher Rose

PhD, History, The University of Texas at Austin

Postdoctoral Fellow (2019-20), Institute for Historical Studies
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 S. Rose received his doctorate in History from the University of Texas at Austin in 2019. He is a founding co-host of the podcast 15 Minute History, and is immediate past-president of the Middle East Outreach Council. He has also an adjunct instructor in the School of Behavioral and Social Sciences at St. Edward's University in Austin, Texas, teaching courses in Cultural Foundations, Global Studies, and History.

Chris studies Egypt between 1798 and 1936; his dissertation examined the vulnerabilities of the civilian population in light of health policies and medicine in Egypt between 1805 and 1918. His other interests include the formative period of Islam from Muhammad until the rise of the Umayyads; the history and development of Fustat/Cairo; Islamic North Africa and Spain (al-Andalus); and the spread of cultural traits through trade networks (Silk Route, Mediterranean, Atlantic).

During his lengthy tenure as Outreach Director at UT’s Center for Middle Eastern Studies (2000-2016), Chris 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. He left in December 2016 to focus on completing his dissertation.

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.

When not nerding out in archives and contemplating the power implications of knowledge production, he enjoys food, wine, photography, and scratching cats behind the ears.

Self-portrait in a mirror, FezChris will be a postdoctoral fellow with UT's Institute for Historical Studies in 2019-20. 

He 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.