Sana Tannoury-Karam

Assistant Professor of History

Dr. Sana Tannoury-Karam is an assistant professor of history in the Communication, Arts, and Languages Department. She is a historian of the modern Middle East and global history working on the history of the political left, internationalism/nationalism, the sociology of intellectuals, and the intellectual and social history of the Arab Middle East. She is also a writer engaging with issues of memory/forgetfulness, exile, and belonging.

Dr. Tannoury-Karam received her PhD from Northeastern University and has been a Fellow of the Europe in the Middle East - the Middle East in Europe program at the Forum Transregionale Studien, Berlin (2020-2023), a Visiting Fellow at the Center for Lebanese Studies at the University of Cambridge (2022), an Early Career Fellow at the Arab Council for the Social Sciences (2019-2020), and a Postdoctoral Fellow in History at Rice University (2018-2019). Dr. Tannoury-Karam’s work has appeared in various scholarly and literary outlets, including the Journal of World History, Life Writing, Leiden University Press, Routledge, Rusted Radishes, and the Legal Agenda, among others.

Research Interests

Dr. Tannoury-Karam’s research combines social and biographical history with global intellectual history approaches to examine the ways Arab intellectuals engaged with the political sphere and negotiated their presence within new structures of power emerging in the post-World War One era. Her current book project chronicles the political organization and activism of a group of unorthodox and overlooked Arab Marxists who advocated for social justice, the international solidarity of the working class, the ills of capitalism, universal suffrage, and conjoining the class struggle and the anti-imperialist struggle. These were intellectuals and activists who had founded the communist parties of Lebanon and Syria, but had, by mid-century, become almost completely absent from leftist circles. Therefore, they have remained at the margins of the historiographies of both Middle East history and global history of the left.

Selected Publications

Peer-Reviewed Scholarship:

  1. Sana Tannoury-Karam, “A Cornerstone for Building a New World: The Soviet Union and the Futurity of Leftist Arab Intellectuals, 1920-1948,” Middle East Journal of Culture and Communication 17, no. 1 (April 2024).
  2. Sana Tannoury-Karam, “On the Vulnerability of Memory and the Power of Storytelling, or How My Grandmothers Made Me a Historian”, Life Writing (2022) DOI: 10.1080/14484528.2022.2127628
  3. Sana Tannoury-Karam, “Reckoning with the Past: Selected Scenes from the Modern History of Lebanon” in Jeffrey Karam and Rima Majed (eds), The Lebanon Uprising of 2019: Voices from the Revolution (I.B. Tauris and Bloomsbury, 2022).
  4. Sana Tannoury-Karam, “No Place for Neutrality: the Case for Democracy and the League Against Nazism and Fascism in Syria and Lebanon”, in Kasper Braskén et. al (eds.) Anti-Fascism in a Global Perspective: Transnational Networks, Exile Communities, and Radical Internationalism (Routledge, 2021).
  5. Sana Tannoury-Karam “Long Live the Revolutionary Alliance Against Imperialism: Interwar Anti-Imperialism and the Arab Levant”, in Michele Louro et. al (eds.) The League Against Imperialism: Lives and Afterlives (Leiden University Press, 2020).
  6. Michele Louro, Carolien Stolte, Heather Streets-Salter, and Sana Tannoury-Karam (eds.), The League Against Imperialism: Lives and Afterlives (Leiden University Press, 2020).
  7. Sana Tannoury-Karam, “This War is Our War: Anti-Fascism Among Lebanese Leftist Intellectuals during World War Two”, Journal of World History 30, no. 3 (September 2019).

Engaged Scholarly Writing (A Selection):

  1. Sana Tannoury-Karam, “Letter to Nefertiti”, Rusted Radishes (2022), http://www.rustedradishes.com/letter-to-nefertiti/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=letter-to-nefertiti
  2. Sana Tannoury-Karam, “The Wondrous World of Omar el-Zeenni”, Rusted Radishes 10 (April 2022) http://www.rustedradishes.com/the-wondrous-world-of-omar-el-zeenni/
  3. Sana Tannoury-Karam, “Founding the Lebanese Left: From Colonial Rule to Independence” The Legal Agenda, January 2021 https://english.legal-agenda.com/founding-the-lebanese-left-from-colonial-rule-to-independence/
  4. Sana Tannoury-Karam “Transnational Solidarities: Will the Pandemic Change Ways of Social and Political Struggle?” Hypotheses (TRAFO-Blog for Transregional Research), June 9, 2020
  5. https://trafo.hypotheses.org/24182
  6. “Not Monolithic: Reflections on the Communist International in the Levant”, Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung , July 2019 https://www.rosalux.de/en/publication/id/40817/not-monolithic/

Academic Degrees

  1. PhD in History, Northeastern University, Boston.
  2. MA in World History, Northeastern University, Boston.
  3. MA in Political Studies, American University of Beirut, Lebanon.
  4. BS in Economics, Lebanese American University, Lebanon.