Topics: Iranian History; Early Islamic History; The Baha’i Faith; Late Ottoman History; Iraq Under the Ba‘th; Rebirth of Israel; Early Islamic Empires
Dr. D Gershon Lewental, the Schusterman visiting professor of Israel studies at the Department of History and the College of International Studies of the University of Oklahoma, earned his AB from Cornell University and his PhD in Middle Eastern history from Brandeis University. His dissertation, on the Battle of al-Qadisiyyah during the Arab-Islamic conquest of Iran and the changing perceptions of the engagement through time, was honoured with both the Brandeis University Glatzer Dissertation Prize and the prestigious Foundation of Iranian Studies Best Dissertation Award.
His fields of specialisation include Iranian history, early Islam, the Baha’i faith, and Israeli history, and he seeks in his scholarship to examine the interplay of memory, religion, and nationalism in identity. Topics on which he is currently working include Saddam Husayn’s religious rhetoric; the Baha’i community in Israel from 1917 to the present; and early Islamic historiography. He teaches classes at the University of Oklahoma on the following subjects: Rebirth of Israel (history of Zionism), Israeli society, the Arab-Israeli conflict, early Islamic empires, and religion and society in the Middle East.