Dr. Dylan Baun

Associate Professor, History Middle East & Islamic World


1310 Ben Graves Drive
Morton Hall
Room 223
Huntsville, AL 35899
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Dylan Baun was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and is a lover of all history. His specific interests in the Middle East developed through experiences ranging from visiting Egypt as an impressionable undergraduate history major at Wittenberg University (Springfield, Ohio) to studying Arabic and conducting archival research in Lebanon during his M.A. and Ph.D. training at the University of Arizona.

Dylan is a cultural and political historian of the modern Middle East and Islamic World with a focus on youth and young people in the 20th century. His research focuses on young men and women in the history of the modern Middle East, especially the cultures and identities they forge through their engagement in political organizations, social movements, and violent encounters (e.g., protests, police crackdowns, revolutions, street brawls, and wars). Dylan's first book, titled Winning Lebanon: Youth Politics, Populism, and the Production of Sectarian Violence, 1920-1958 (Cambridge University Press, 2021) is on the history of multiple youth-centric organizations in mid-twentieth century Lebanon, as well as their participation in the 1958 War. He is current working on a second book project, which is a biography of a young Lebanese leftist from the Global 1960s to the Lebanese Civil War.

Dylan brings these specific interests into the classroom, where he asks students to consider how non-elites and their everyday lives shape specific historical phenomena, whether a civil war or a literary movement. At the same time, his students explore how given events and trends shape the lives of these people as they experience them. Hence, Dylan challenges his students to walk this analytical tightrope, with people as makers of historical events, but also products of these events. He finds this approach important for all historical inquiry, but especially in the case of the Middle East, whereby “ordinary people” have been written out of grand historical narratives, contemporary media reports, and foreign policy as if they were merely victims of geopolitics (sadly they are that too, but not solely defined by greater powers).

In Dylan’s classes, students learn about normal men, women, and children in Middle Eastern, Islamic, and World history. Throughout any given semester, Dylan and his students practice understanding them, writing about them, and relating to them.

Curriculum Vitae


  • Ph.D., University of Arizona, 2015
  • M.A., University of Arizona, 2010
  • B.A., Wittenberg University, 2008


  • Modern Middle East and Islamic World
  • Youth and young people
  • Popular politics and social movements

Recent Publications

  • Winning Lebanon: Youth Politics, Populism, and the Production of Sectarian Violence, 1920-1958. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2021.

  • “Claiming an Individual:  Party, Family, and the Politics of Memorialization in the Lebanese Civil War.” Middle East Critique vol. 30, no. 4 (2021).

  • “Celebrating Holidays and Instilling Values: Religion, Nationalism, and Youth Organization in Twentieth Century Youth Culture,” chapter in Oxford Handbook of the History of Youth Culture, edited by James Marten. Oxford University Press (2021).

  • "Populism and war-making: Constructing the people and the enemy during the early Lebanese Civil War era," 146-157. In Mapping Populism: Approaches and Methods, edited by Majia Nadesan and Amit Ron. New York: Routledge, 2020.

  • "Lebanon's Youth Clubs and the 1936 Summer Olympics: Mobilizing Sports, Challenging Imperialism and Launching a National Project." The International Journal of the History of Sport vol. 34, no. 13 (2018):  1347-65. ~Winner of 2019 SERMEISS Article/Book Chapter Prize.