Sills, Charles Photo

Position Title
PhD Student

1 Shields Avenue, Davis CA 95616

Charles Sills is a PhD student studying Syrian history during the French Mandate. His recent work reconsiders the legacy of American archaeological extraction in Mandate Syria, and American cultural institutions’ plunder of Syrian antiquities during the interwar period (1920-1939). He joined the history PhD program at UC-Davis after a brief stint at the American University of Beirut (AUB), where he began his PhD in history in 2019. Before moving to Lebanon, Charles earned a Master of Arts in history at the University of Georgia and bachelor’s degrees in history and political science at Georgia State University. In 2022, he completed an intensive Arabic immersion program in Tangier, Morocco as a Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) recipient. During the 2023-2024 academic year, he studied Arabic in Meknes, Morocco as a Center for Arabic Study Abroad (CASA) fellow. 

Education and Degree(s)
  • BA History, BA Political Science - Georgia State University (2015)
  • MA History - University of Georgia (2018)
Honors and Awards
  • Georgia State University International Education Fund - IEF Scholarship (Havana, Cuba; 2015)
  • Critical Language Scholarship - CLS Arabic (Tangier, Morocco; 2022)
  • Center for Arabic Study Abroad - CASA Fellow (Meknes, Morocco; 2023-2024)
Research Interests & Expertise
  • Modern Middle East; eastern Mediterranean world; the United States and Syria during the inter-war period; archaeological plunder and cultural imperialism during the French Mandate
  • Sills, Charles. (2021), “Colonial Capitalism, Boundary Demarcation and Imperial Placemaking in South Arabia.” Third World Quarterly, Vol. 42, Issue 6.
  • Sills, Charles. (2023), “Cultural Imperialism and the American Scramble for Antiquities in Mandate Syria, 1920-1939.” Middle Eastern Studies, Vol. 60, Issue 4.