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Omnia El Shakry


  • Ph.D., History, Princeton University
  • M.A., History, Princeton University
  • M.A., Middle East Studies, New York University
  • B.A., Psychology, American University in Cairo


Omnia El Shakry specializes in the intellectual history of the Arab world and Europe, with a special emphasis on the history of the human sciences in Egypt. El Shakry is a founding member of the Middle East/ South Asia Studies Program and is affiliated with the Cultural Studies and Critical Theory Programs on campus. 

Research Focus

El Shakry’s current research, The Arabic Freud: Psychoanalysis and Islam in Modern Egypt, traces the development of psychoanalysis and discourses of subjectivity in postwar Egypt as part of the transregional history of ideas of the self and the unconscious. She maintains additional research interests in gender and sexuality and visual cultures in the modern Middle East.

Selected Publications

  • El Shakry, O. (Ed.) (2016) Gender and Sexuality in Islam: Critical Concepts in Islamic Studies (ed.) Volume I: Gender and the Ethical Subject; Volume II: Gender, Empire, and Nation; Volume III: Sexualities, Intimacy, and the Body; Volume IV: Gender, Sexuality, and Representation (London and New York: Routledge Press). 
  • El Shakry, O. (2015) "History without documents: The vexed archives of decolonization in the Middle East," The American Historical Review 120, no. 3: 920-934.
  • El Shakry, O. (2014) "The Arabic Freud: The unconscious and the modern subject," Modern Intellectual History 11, no. 1: 89-118.
  • El Shakry, O. (2011) "Youth as peril and promise: The emergence of adolescent psychology in postwar Egypt," International Journal of Middle East Studies 43, no. 4: 591-610.
  • El Shakry, O. (2007) The Great Social Laboratory: Subjects of Knowledge in Colonial and Postcolonial Egypt (Stanford: Stanford University Press).


The World Since 1850 (HIS 10C); Colonialism and the Making of the Modern World (HIS 110A); Modern Middle East, 1750-1914 (HIS 193A); The Middle East in the 20th Century (HIS 193B); Colonialism and its Discontents (HIS 102X); Gender and Sexuality in the Modern Middle East (HIS 102R); Modern Middle East History: Problems and Methods (HIS 201M); Genealogy, Islam, and Modernity (201M); World History: Approaches and Methods (HIS 201X).


  • National Endowment for the Humanities, Summer Institute Director, 2013
  • ACLS Charles A. Ryskamp Research Fellowship, 2008-2009
  • Fulbright Scholar, Cairo, Egypt, 2004-2005
  • University of California, President’s Research Fellowship, 2004-2005
  • Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellowship, University of California, Berkeley, 2001-2003