Max Weiss studies the cultural, intellectual, and literary history of the modern Middle East, and holds a joint appointment in the Department of Near Eastern Studies.
He is the author of In the Shadow of Sectarianism: Law, Shi`ism, and the Making of Modern Lebanon (Harvard UP, 2010); co-editor (with Jens Hanssen) of Arabic Thought Beyond the Liberal Age: Towards an Intellectual History of the Nahda (Cambridge UP, 2016), and Arabic Thought Against the Authoritarian Age: Towards an Intellectual History of the Present (Cambridge UP, 2018); and translator, most recently, of Dunya Mikhail, The Beekeeper (New York, 2018), and Nihad Sirees, States of Passion (London, 2018). He earned a Ph.D. in Modern Middle East History from Stanford University, held postdoctoral fellowships at Princeton University and the Harvard Society of Fellows, and his research has been supported by the Fulbright-Hays Commission, the Social Science Research Council, and the Carnegie Corporation.
At the moment Weiss is engaged in several areas of research and writing:
- Modern Middle East intellectual history, including an intellectual history of modern Syria for Princeton University Press
- Cultural Studies, including a book-length manuscript on literature and film in and around Baʿthist Syria
- Translation: Modern Arabic literature, both fiction and non-fiction, currently a novel by the Lebanese writer Alawiya Sobh
He is open to meeting graduate students interested in Middle East studies broadly conceived but especially those who are curious about multiple disciplinary traditions and scholarly (and non-scholarly) fields, including but not limited to: modern intellectual history; cultural studies, critical theory, and postcolonialism; historically-minded comparative literature; research into the religious, the secular, and the sectarian; the history, politics, and ethics of translation.