Omnia El Shakry



  • B.A., Psychology, American University in Cairo
  • M.A., Middle East Studies, New York University
  • M.A., History, Princeton University
  • Ph.D., History, Princeton University


Omnia El Shakry teaches courses, both undergraduate and graduate, on Modern Middle East History, World History, Postcolonial theory, and Comparative Middle East/South Asia studies. El Shakry’s scholarship focuses primarily on the intellectual and cultural history of the Arab world, with a special emphasis on the history of the human and religious sciences in modern Egypt. She maintains additional research interests in gender and sexuality and visual cultures in the modern Middle East. She is the author of The Arabic Freud: Psychoanalysis and Islam in Modern Egypt (Princeton University Press, 2017) and The Great Social Laboratory: Subjects of Knowledge in Colonial and Postcolonial Egypt (Stanford University Press, 2007). She is also the editor of Understanding and Teaching the Modern Middle East (University of Wisconsin Press, 2020) and Gender and Sexuality in Islam (Routledge, 2016).

Her current research project traces the emergence of a vibrant movement of intellectual and religious exchange between Muslim and Catholic scholars in twentieth-century Egypt. Her work has been translated into Arabic, Turkish, French, German, and Spanish. She has received fellowships and grants from the Stanford Humanities Center, the American Council of Learned Societies, the Fulbright foundation, and the National Endowment for the Humanities, among others.

Prof. El Shakry advises students with an interest in the intellectual history of the Modern Middle East, the comparative history of the Middle East and South Asia, and the transnational circulation of ideas. She works intensively with graduate students in helping them produce work that is theoretically sophisticated, methodologically interdisciplinary, and historically grounded. She is the recipient of the Nancy Lyman Roelker Mentoring Award from the American Historical Association (2020) and the Distinguished Graduate and Postdoctoral Scholar Mentoring Award from UC Davis Graduate Studies (2017).



Department of History University of California, Davis