Mathew Madain

“From Frontier to Emirate: Society and Inter-religious Relations in Ottoman Transjordan, 1516–1923”

ACOR-CAORC Predoctoral Fellowship, 2021–2022

University of Oxford; Oxford, England (U.K.)

Mathew Madain is a first-year DPhil student in history at the University of Oxford. Under the supervision of Eugene Rogan and John-Paul Ghobrial, he explores the political and socioeconomic history of the Ottoman Levant, with a focus on Transjordan. A recipient of the Oxford-Thatcher Scholarship, Mathew completed a MSc in modern Middle Eastern studies in 2020. His master’s dissertation examined the reign of King Talal bin Abdullah of Jordan through declassified Foreign Office and State Department records. He graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, in 2019 with a BA in history, global studies, and Arabic. In 2018, he was selected as a Haas Scholar to conduct a social-historical study of as-Salt during the Great War. His study, rooted in oral histories and archival records, was recently published in the Oxford Middle East Review. He is fluent in Arabic and proficient in Greek.

Through administrative records, literary sources, and oral histories, this doctoral research will analyze the continuities and transformations in the sociopolitical order of Ottoman Transjordan from 1516–1918 CE, with attention to interreligious relations. It will identify the cultural and economic roles of Transjordan’s communities within the Ottoman and Mediterranean worlds. In concluding, it will examine the sociopolitical order extant after the breakup of the Ottoman Empire and analyze the political and nationalistic activity of its communities during the short-lived Kingdom of Syria (ca. 1918–1920) and into the early Emirate period.

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