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Joel Gordon

  • Professor
  • Modern Middle East, History and Culture: Director King Fahd Center for Middle East Studies

Contact Information


Joel Gordon (PhD University of Michigan) is a political and cultural historian of modern Egypt and the Middle East. He teaches and writes about political change, the intersection of public and popular culture, historical memory and nostalgia, and religious and secular cross-currents, with emphases on cinema, music and mass media. He joined the University of Arkansas faculty in 1999 and currently directs the Fahd Center for Middle East Studies. He serves as a faculty affiliate of the Comparative Literature and Cultural Studies Program.



  • “Stuck with Him: Bassem Youssef and the Egyptian Revolution’s Last Laugh,” Review of Middle East Studies (forthcoming, 2014)
  • “Piety, Youth and Egyptian Cinema: Still Seeking Islamic Space,” in A Hamdar/L Moore, Islamism and Cultural Expression (Routledge, forthcoming, 2014)
  • “Egypt’s Army and Brotherhood: Rereading History,” Today’s Zaman (Istanbul), 14 July 2013
  • “Chahine, Chaos and Cinema: A Revolutionary Coda,” Bustan 4 (2) 2013, 99-112
  • ‘Broken Heart of the City: Yousef Chahine’s Bab al-Hadid (Cairo Station),’ in A Valassopoulos, Arab Cultural Studies (Routledge 2013), 112-32 (originally in Journal for Cultural Research 16 (2012), 17-37
  • Nasser: Hero of the Arab Nation (Oneworld Press, 2006)
  • Revolutionary Melodrama: Popular Film and Civic Identity in Nasser's Egypt (University of Chicago Middle East Center, 2002).
  • Nasser's Blessed Movement: Egypt's Free Officers and the July Revolution (Oxford University Press, 1992; 2nd ed/pb American University in Cairo Press, 1997).
  • “Egypt from 1919,” New Cambridge History of Islam, v. 5 (2010), pp 373-401
  • “River Blindness: Black and White Identity in Early Nasserist Cinema,” Narrating the Nile: Politics, Cultures, Identities (ed.) Israel Gershoni et al (Lynne Rienner Press, 2008), 137-56
  • “The Slaps Felt around the Arab World: Family and National Melodrama in 2 Nasser-era Musicals,” International Journal of Middle East Studies 39 (2) 2007, 209-28
  • “The Nightingale and the Ra'is: Abd al-Halim Hafez and Nasserist Longings,” in Rethinking Nasserism: Revolution and Historical Memory in Modern Egypt, Elie Podeh and Onn Winckler (eds.) (Florida University Press, 2004), 307-23
  • “Singing the Pulse of the Egyptian-Arab Street: Shaaban Abd al-Rahim and the Geo-pop Politics of Fast Food,” Popular Music 22/1 (2003), 75-90

Courses Taught

  • Senior Capstone Seminar: Middle East in the Age of Nasser
  • HIST 3043--Modern Middle East
  • HIST 3473--Palestine/Israel
  • HIST 4363--Middle East since 1914
  • HIST 4413--New Women
  • HIST 4433--Modern Islam
  • Graduate Seminars