Topics of Interest:
Historical Geography of Capitalism, Imperialism, Agrarian Studies, State Theory, Eco-Social Theory, Anti-Colonial Movements, Comparative Historical Sociology, Histories of Comparative Thought and Practice, Environmental and Social History of Public Works and Infrastructure, Finance Capital
Countries/Regions of Interest:
Egypt, India, Pakistan
List of Publications
“Boom, Bugs, Bust: Ecologies of Interest on Egypt’s Commodity Frontier, 1882-194” in Antipode [under review].
“Review Essay: A New Materialism? Globalization and Technology in the Age of Empire” in International Journal of Middle East Studies Vol. 47, No. 2 (May 2015) [forthcoming].
“The Scales of Public Utility: Agricultural Roads and State Space in the Era of the British Occupation” in Marilyn Booth and Anthony Gorman, eds., The Long 1890s in Egypt (Edinburgh: University of Edinburgh Press, 2014), pp. 57-86.
“Review: Raouf Abbas & Assem El-Dessouky, The Large Landowning Class and the Peasantry in Egypt, 1837-1952, Amer Mohsen with Mona Zirki trans., (Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 2012) in Economic History Review, 66, 2 (2013): pp. 676-8.
“The Severed Branches of Local Government” in jadaliyya.com (December 20, 2012).
“Review Essay: The Invisible State” in Arab Studies Journal Vol. XX, No. 1(Spring 2012), pp. 236-245.
“Dustūr 1923” in al-Shurūq [Arabic] (April 29, 2012).
“The Myth of Egypt’s Liberal Constitution” in Egypt Independent (April 8, 2012).
“Egypt’s Unfinished Revolution” in aljazeera.com (November 23, 2011).
“Two Hands Clapping: the Double Logic of Counter-Revolution” in jadaliyya.com (October 30, 2011).
“Why Remember Dinshawai” in Egypt Independent (June 13, 2011).
“The Specter of Egypt’s Colonial Interior” in Egypt Independent (April 11, 2011).
“Review: Michael Ezekiel Gasper, The Power of Representation: Publics, Peasants, and Islam in Egypt (2009)” in Arab Studies Journal Vol. XVIII, No. 1 (Spring 2010), pp. 374-8.
“Review: Mustafa Kabha, The Palestinian Press as Shaper of Public Opinion, 1929-1939: Writing Up a Storm (2007)” in Arab Media and Society Issue 3 (Fall 2007).
Aaron G. Jakes is currently Postdoctoral Fellow at the Institute for Middle East Studies at George Washington University. Beginning in Fall 2015, he will be Assistant Professor in the Department of History at the New School University. Dr. Jakes received his Ph.D. from New York University’s Joint PhD Program in History and Middle Eastern Studies in January 2015. His research interests includes the histories of the modern Middle East and South Asia, the historical geography of capitalism, agrarian studies, comparative methodologies for the study of large-scale historical transformations, the social and environmental history of public works and infrastructural projects, the history of anti-colonial movements, and state theory. His dissertation, entitled State of the Field: Agrarian Transformation, Colonial Rule, and the Politics of Material Wealth in Egypt, 1882-1914, is a study of both the political economy of the British occupation of Egypt and the role of political-economic thought in struggles over colonial rule in the decades prior to World War I. Drawing on nearly three years of archival research in Egypt, England, India, Pakistan, and the United States, State of the Field argues that the political struggles of the colonial era unfolded as a multi-sided debate about the relationship between material wealth and political legitimacy. Though originally aimed at boosting agricultural production, the reform policies that anchored British rule eventually helped to make Egypt a key site for investment in a moment of global financial expansion at the close of the 19th century. Ultimately, the abstract and uneven character of financial boom and bust played a central role in shaping the concepts with which nationalists advocated independence and influenced their understandings of what a sovereign nation-state would look like.
Jakes graduated summa cum laude from Yale University with a BA in History. He also holds an MPhil in Modern Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Oxford, where his research focused on the influence of the scouting movement on youth culture in inter-war Egypt. In addition to a book manuscript based on his dissertation and tentatively entitled Fields of Finance: Agrarian Capitalism and the Colonial State in Egypt, 1882-1914, he is currently working on an article about the Azhar strike of 1909 and the vernacular politics of comparison. He has previously held fellowships from the Center for Arabic Study Abroad, the Foreign Language and Area Studies Grants (for advanced Urdu), the Social Science Research Council, the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at New York University, Fulbright Hays, the American Research Center in Egypt, and the American Council of Learned Societies.