Stahl, Dale

Humanities Research Fellow Affiliation: NYU Abu Dhabi
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Education: BA, Stanford; MA, PhD, DPhil., Standford University

Research Areas: Environmental History, Middle Eastern and Islamic History, International and Global History


Dale joined NYUAD in September 2014, as a Research Fellow in the Humanities Research Fellowship Program. His scholarly interests center on the history of the Middle East during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Broadly, he is interested in how changes in the environment resulting from both human and non-human actions relate to social and political change.

His current research deals with water and hydraulic engineering in the Tigris-Euphrates basin during the early and middle parts of the twentieth century. The human handling and exploitation of Mesopotamia’s water has had a profound impact on the formation of political communities in the rivers’ basin for millennia, but the period of modern development has received very little attention from historians.

In his dissertation, he examined the action of both nature (in the form of floods and droughts) and human hydraulic management to explain how the environment figured into the shift from empire to the nation-state and the diverse processes of modern state formation in Iraq, Syria, and Turkey. His work has been heavily influenced by research in various fields of social science, especially geography.

After his fellowship year at NYUAD, he will join the history faculty at the University of Colorado Denver as an Assistant Professor of International Studies.