Max Weiss is an associate professor specializing in the social, cultural, and intellectual history of the modern Middle East. His research interests include transformations of law and society, religious culture, history of ideas, and the translation of contemporary Arabic literature into English....
Max Weiss is an associate professor specializing in the social, cultural, and intellectual history of the modern Middle East. His research interests include transformations of law and society, religious culture, history of ideas, and the translation of contemporary Arabic literature into English. He is jointly appointed in the Department of Near Eastern Studies.
His first book, In the Shadow of Sectarianism: Law, Shiʿism and the Making of Modern Lebanon (Harvard University Press, 2010), is a study of the Lebanese Shiʿi milieu during the period of French Mandate rule based primarily on Islamic court records from Beirut and South Lebanon and French colonial archival material. He co-edited with Michael Laffan, Facing Fear: The History an Emotion in Global Perspective (Princeton University Press, 2012). In addition, he has published several translations from the Arabic, including the following: Hassouna Mosbahi, A Tunisian Tale (American University in Cairo Press, 2011), Samar Yazbek, A Woman in the Crossfire: Diaries of the Syrian Revolution (London: Haus, 2012) and Nihad Sirees, The Silence and the Roar (London: Pushkin Press, 2013).
Raised in southern California, Professor Weiss completed a double B.A. in Molecular and Cell Biology and History at UC Berkeley (1999) and earned his Ph.D. in modern Middle East history from Stanford University (2007). Prior to joining the faculty at Princeton, he held a postdoctoral fellowship in Near Eastern Studies at Princeton (2007-08) and was a junior fellow at the Harvard Society of Fellows (2008-10, 2011-12).
Professor Weiss is currently writing an interpretive history of Syria in the twentieth century, with an emphasis on questions of law and society, religion/secularism/sectarianism and the interplay of culture and ideology, under contract with Princeton University Press. In addition to translating novels by Syrian writers such as Fawwaz Haddad and others, he is increasingly interested in the Algerian Arabic novel.