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Stacy Fahrenthold


  • Ph.D. History, Northeastern University
  • M.A. History, Northeastern University
  • B.A. History, Georgia State University


Stacy Fahrenthold is a historian of the modern Middle East specializing in labor migration; displacement/refugees; border studies; and diasporas within and from the region. She is affiliated with the Middle East / South Asia Studies Program, the Migration Research Cluster, and the Human Rights Studies Program. Prior to arriving at UC Davis in 2018, she taught in the California State University system (Stanislaus and Fresno campuses).

Research Focus

Professor Fahrenthold's research into Arab migration emphasizes the diaspora’s impact on modern Syrian and Lebanese politics in the twentieth century. Her first book, Between the Ottomans and the Entente: The First World War in the Syrian and Lebanese Diaspora, 1908-1925, was published with Oxford University Press in 2019. It explores the war work of Arab activists in Brazil, Argentina, and the United States, and reveals the repercussions of diasporic activism for nationality laws and repatriation regimes in the post-Ottoman Middle East. The book was recently featured on the Ottoman History Podcast

Professor Fahrenthold is currently at work on a new project on Syrian labor migration. Her larger research foci include migration, displacement, and diaspora in the Middle East; Syria, Lebanon, and the Ottoman eastern Mediterranean; working class and labor histories; ethnic and religious minorities; and World War I.

Selected Publications


Between the Ottomans and the Entente: The First World War in the Syrian and Lebanese Diaspora, 1908-1925 (Oxford University Press, 2019).


“An archaeology of rare books in Arab Atlantic history,” Journal of American Ethnic History 37, no. 3 (Spring 2018): 77-83.

“Former Ottomans in the Ranks: pro-Entente Military Recruitment Among Syrians in the Americas, 1916–1918.” Journal of Global History 11, no. 1 (March 2016): 88-112.

“Sound Minds in Sound Bodies: Transnational Philanthropy and Patriotic Masculinity in al-Nadi al-Homsi and Syrian Brazil, 1920–1932.” International Journal of Middle East Studies 46, no. 2 (May 2014): 259-283.

“Transnational Modes and Media: the Syrian Press in the Mahjar and Emigrant Activism during World War I.” Mashriq & Mahjar: Journal of Middle East Migration Studies 1, no. 1 (February 2013): 32-57.


2018-2019 Schedule

  • Bans and Border Walls (HIS 102x, Winter 2019): In the contemporary discourse on migration, it feels peculiarly seamless to discuss “bans and border walls” in a single breath. However, the global preoccupation with travel restriction and border security must not be taken as an inevitability. States arrive at bans and walls as preferred means of migration control as a result of making specific assumptions about migrants as “threats” to national sovereignty. This course is an intensive reading seminar tracing the history of this global preoccupation with borders, bans, and walls, and with border control in the 20th/21st centuries. Students will read pioneering work in border studies, documentary regimes, and the securitization of migration policies.
  • Global Migration History (HIS 110w, Spring 2019): Migrant stories are too often pushed to the side, marginalized in a historical tradition focused on narrating histories of place. Yet if there is one global history, it is the history of human mobility and migration. How do mobile people (migrants, workers, nomads, and refugees) navigate in a world with multiplying borders? This course is an introduction to global migration history from 1800 to the present. It examines labor migration systems; border governance; undocumented migration; partition, displacement, and refugee regimes; and race, gender, and class in migration law. Students will engage major concepts in humanistic migration theory, read and interpret documents from the period, and hone skills in writing about migration from a systems-based perspective.
  • History of the Modern Middle East from 1914 (HIS 193b, Spring 2019)The Middle East from the turn of the 20th century to the present. Themes include the legacy of imperialism, cultural renaissance, the World Wars, nationalism, Palestine/Israel, Islamic revival, gender, revolutionary movements, politics of oil and war, cultural modernism, exile and diaspora.


Syrian Studies Association Dissertation Prize (2016)

American Council of Learned Societies/Andrew Mellon Dissertation Completion Fellowship (2013-14)