Assistant Professor of History
B.A., Eastern Washington University; M.A., George Mason University; Ph.D., University of Maryland
An avid world traveler from the Washington, D.C. area, Dr. Christiane-Marie Abu Sarah holds a Ph.D. in History from the University of Maryland and a master’s degree in World History from George Mason University. She teaches courses on the Middle East, Asia, and the Cold War, as well as course sections of Contemporary Global Issues and World Religions, in Erskine’s Department of History and Political Science. These courses draw on Dr. Abu Sarah’s interdisciplinary background in behavioral history and conflict resolution, and seek to foster appreciation for different cultures, global connections, and diverse perspectives.
Research and Projects
Dr. Abu Sarah’s research analyzes the police confessions and court files of activists who participated in violent attacks. Her work has taken her to the Arabic Press Archives in Israel, Dar al-Kutub in Cairo, the French military archives in Paris, the National Archives in London, the Library of Congress in Washington, and the labor history archives in Amsterdam.
Currently, Dr. Abu Sarah is completing a book entitled To Drink a Cup of Fire: Morality Tales and Moral Emotions in Anti-Colonial Activism. The book explores emotions, decision-making, and moral cognition in social movements.
She brings her work to the public through TED Talks and digital history programs. Her past projects have included the digital history website Beyond Golden Age and Decline: The Legacy of Muslim Societies in Global Modernity for the NEH Bridging Cultures Initiative and Center for Global Islamic Studies.
In addition to her research, Dr. Abu Sarah is director of the Center for Behavioral and Cognitive History (BACH). The Center pioneers new historiographical approaches and offers cultural education and conflict resolution training programs for colleges, businesses, churches, and NGOs (an initiative in conjunction with the nonprofit Interact International). For six years, Dr. Abu Sarah has also served as managing editor of the peer-reviewed journal al-ʿUṣūr al-Wusṭā (The Journal of Middle East Medievalists).
When she’s not doing research, Dr. Abu Sarah enjoys scuba diving and leading study abroad courses. She has directed archaeological tours and conflict resolution courses in Cuba, Egypt, Iraq, Israel-Palestine, Syria, Turkey, and Vietnam.