Jens Hanssen is a professor of Middle Eastern and Mediterranean History at the University of Toronto. He has held research fellowships at the American University of Beirut and the Deutsche Morgenländische Gesellschaft in Beirut, and served on the academic advisory committee at the Lebanese Ministry of Culture and Higher Education. He was Socrates Fellow at La Maison Méditerranéenne des Sciences de l’Homme, University of Aix-en-Provence/Marseille, and held a postdoctoral fellowship from the Thyssen Foundation to study the Arab renaissance.
He is the author of “Fin de Siècle Beirut: The Making of an Ottoman Provincial Capital”, Oxford, 2005. He also co-authored History, Space and Social Conflict in Beirut; The Quarter of Zokak el-Blat in 2005, and co-edited Empire in the City; Arab Provincial Capitals in the Late Ottoman Empire in 2002, both published by the German Orient Institute in Beirut. He has written and presented his academic work in English, Arabic, Franch and German on Ottoman archaeology, municipal and intellectual history of the Middle East, memory and reconstruction in postwar Lebanon, and filmed a short documentary on academic life in Iraq after the U.S. invasion during his visit to Baghdad in June 2003. He has published in The New Cambridge History of Islam (2010), in the International Journal of Middle East Studies (2011) and has an article on “Kafka and Arabs” forthcoming in Critical Inquiry.
He is currently preparing a book on Levantine family history and is organizing a series of international conferences to mark the 50th anniversary of the publication of Albert Hourani’s seminal “Arabic Thought in the Liberal Age.”