Adam Mestyan Appointed Director of DISC and DUMESC

New director set to start in 2024

-By Charles Givens

November 16, 2023

The Office of Global Affairs has announced the appointment of Duke historian Adam Mestyan as the next director of the Duke Islamic Studies Center (DISC) and the Duke University Middle East Studies Center (DUMESC), effective July 1, 2024.

Mestyan is an associate professor of History in the Trinity College of Arts and Sciences. A leading historian of the Arabic-speaking world, with a focus on the period from the 19th to 21st centuries and examines the interplay of political, cultural and environmental factors shaping the region’s history.

Dr. Adam Mestyan (above), the new Director of DISC and DUMESC (Photo credit: Adam Mestyan)

A former faculty member at Oxford University and later a junior fellow at the Harvard Society of Fellows, Mestyan has made significant contributions to the field. His work includes Modern Arab Kingship: Remaking the Ottoman Political Order in the Interwar Middle East (Princeton University Press, 2023), Primordial History, Print Capitalism, and Egyptology in Nineteenth-Century Cairo (IFAO, 2021), and Arab Patriotism: The Ideology and Culture of Power in Late Ottoman Egypt (Princeton University Press, 2017).

Serving as the principal investigator for the collaborative Islamic digital humanities project Digital Cairo: Studying Urban Transformation through a TEI XML Database, 1828-1914, Mestyan has received support from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and L’Institut français d’archéologie orientale du Caire (IFAO).


Mestyan has received numerous awards for his teaching and scholarship. “We are very honored to have Professor Mestyan serve in this role and look forward to working with him in the coming years,” said Eve Duffy, associate vice provost for Global Affairs. “His leadership will be invaluable to DISC and DUMESC as they continue to promote interdisciplinary research and teaching on the Middle Eastern region and the larger Islamic world.”

The directorial appointment runs through June 30, 2027, and is also supported by Trinity College and the Interim Vice Provost for Academic Affairs.