I am a Junior Research Fellow at Jesus College, Cambridge, working on the histories of environment, law, and capitalism in late Ottoman Iraq. My dissertation, “Empire on Edge: Land, Law, and Capital in Gilded Age Basra, 1884-1914,” uses microhistory to explore how individual capitalists shaped the emergence of capitalism and modern state practice by manipulating novel state vocabularies and bureaucratic instruments.

I have a second project on histories of technology in the 19th century Middle East, focusing on steamships and irrigation projects in southern Iraq and Iran. I am also beginning work on a new project looking at the transnational history of concessions between Latin America and the Middle East.


2020, PhD in History, Yale University

2013, MPhil in Historical Studies, University of Cambridge.

2012, BA in Politics and Middle East Studies, Pomona College (Claremont, CA)


“Controversial Investments: Trade and Infrastructure in Ottoman-British Relations in Iraq, 1861-1918,” Middle Eastern Studies (https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/00263206.2018.1462164)

“Precarious Empires: A Social and Environmental History of Steam Navigation on the Tigris,” Journal of Social History 50 (2016): 74-101.

“From Forest to Delta: Recent Themes in South Asian Environmental History,” South Asian History and Culture 7 (2016): 208-19.

Blog Posts

    Upcoming Talks and Conferences

    “Guaranteeing Fraud: Shaykh-Merchant Partnerships in ‘Amara Land Auctions, 1900-1914,” MESA Annual Meeting, New Orleans, Nov. 14-17, 2019.

    “‘The Last Vestiges of Arab Independence’: Khaz’al Khan and the Making of Gilded Age Basra and Khuzestan, 1897-1914,” Iraqi Studies: Past, Present, and Future, Columbia University, Feb. 28-29, 2020.


    Middle East Studies Association

    Network for the Study of Environmental History of Turkey

    Camille Cole

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    Active 2 years, 11 months ago