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Laila Parsons

Associate Professor
Degree(s) and Education: 

D Phil (Oxford) 1996

Ferrier, Rm 484
Office Hours: 
by appointment
Mailing Address: 

Ferrier, Rm 484
Department of History 855 Sherbrooke West
Montreal, Quebec
H3A 2T7

514-398-4400 ext.094133
Email Address: 
laila [dot] parsons [at] mcgill [dot] ca
Professional Biography: 

Professor Parsons holds a joint appointment with the Institute for Islamic Studies.

I am a specialist in the history of the 20th-century Middle East and have published a book and some articles on the 1948 Arab-Israeli war and Druze-Jewish relations. My new research focuses on the life of Fawzi al-Qawuqji, the Arab nationalist and soldier who served as an officer in the Ottoman army during World War I; fought against the French in Syria during the rebellion of 1925-1927; fought against the British in Mandatory Palestine during the Arab Revolt of 1936-39, and again in Iraq during the Rashid ‘Ali Coup of 1941; lived in exile in Nazi Germany during World War II; and led the Arab Salvation Army (Jaysh al-inqâdh) against the Haganah/IDF during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. Using Qawuqji’s own archive to construct a detailed and carefully contextualized historical narrative of the journey that he made through certain moments, I hope to offer a glimpse of the complexity and contingency of the historical worlds he inhabited. The book will be published with Hill and Wang (New York) in 2015. For details of my first book and my articles please see my Webpage in the Institute of Islamic Studies. I teach courses on the history and historiography of the Arab-Israeli Conflict; on women, gender and sexuality; on the development of various nationalisms (and their corresponding histories); and on imperialism.

Graduate Supervision: 

20th Century Middle East.