About Me

Hi, I’m Stacy

“One of the great things about travel,” Edith Wharton said, “is you find out how many good, kind people there are.”  I like to meet other folks when I travel and ask them about the past.   Memories are like shadows, and the tools of the historian cast light on the events and conditions remembered and forgotten by those in the present.

I like think about how the location of a place and its geography connect with the history of a city or country. For Ottoman Mesopotamia (now Iraq), I showed how the nineteenth-century border with the Persian Empire fostered a the present-day tensions between Sunnis and Shiis. I wrote too about how the Saharan climate influences political forces in Mauritania. On a lighter note, I interviewed Harlequin authors in order to explore fictive Arab kingdoms in contemporary romance novels.

But there is nothing more exciting than traipsing through back alleys and public parks in search of some sign of the past, whether it is a colonial mausoleum or an old mosque turned into a movie theatre.  I explored Ottoman ruins in Tessaloniki to show the significant erasure of Islamic history in Greece. I traced the history of old water mills in Fez by walking along the now empty water canals and finding old grindstones that marked where they once had operated.

I hold a Ph.D. in history (Boston University, 2005) and am an Associate Professor at Purdue University. As seen in my CV, a number of grants and fellowships have supported the research that I have done in libraries in the US, Europe and North Africa. I have been a recipient of two Fulbright Grants, the Carter Manny Award and Purdue University Enhancing Research in Arts and Humanities Grant. I am the author of The Politics of Food in Modern Morocco (University Press of Florida, 2009) and A Documentary History of Modern Iraq (University Press of Florida, 2012). I have participated in national professional conferences and given talks internationally in Europe and North Africa.

Read the latest posts.

A Seductive Desert Fantasy

I am in a plane heading to Casablanca.   Seated behind me, four compatriots loudly discuss their vacation plans across the aisle separating them.  I note three European-Americans and one Asian-American. I recognize something of myself in them. Like me,...