Topics: Nationalism and Religion in the Middle East; Arab-Israeli Conflict; Radical Islam; Israeli Society and Politics; Islamic History; The Baha’i Faith
Dr. D Gershon Lewental is a cultural historian of the Middle East, focusing on how societies use religion, memory, and conflict to define and maintain their identities. He has been the Schusterman visiting assistant professor of Israel studies at the Department of History and the College of International Studies of the University of Oklahoma since 2012. He earned his Bachelor (magna cum laude) from Cornell University and his doctorate in Middle Eastern history from Brandeis University. His dissertation, on the changing perceptions of the Arab-Islamic conquest of Iran through time, received the Foundation of Iranian Studies Best Dissertation Award and the Brandeis University Glatzer Dissertation Prize.
His fields of specialization include Islamic history and historiography, Iranian history, the Baha’i faith, and Israeli society. Topics on which he is currently working include a study of religion, nationalism, and memory in the modern Middle East; the role of narrative in early Islamic historiography, "micro-minorities" in Israeli society, and the elaboration of Tajiki identity.