Dr. Dylan Baun

Assistant Professor, History Department

Biography

Dylan Baun was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and is a lover of all history (#everythinghasahistory). 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 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 the cultures (i.e., beliefs, values and practices) that form around groups of young men and women in the history of the modern Middle East, especially their involvement in grassroots social movements, popular politics, calamitous events and violent encounters (e.g., protests, police crackdowns, revolutions, street brawls and wars). His current work is on popular youth clubs, political organizations and social movements in mid-twentieth century Lebanon, and the participation of their rank and file in the 1958 War. Dylan is preparing a manuscript based on this research, tentatively entitled Winning Lebanon: Youth Politics, Populism and the Emergence of Sectarian Violence in the Middle East, 1920-1958.

Dylan brings these specific interests into the classroom, where he asks his 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 non-elites 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.

Dr. Dylan Baun's Curriculum Vitae


Education

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

Classes Taught


Publications

  • "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 (2018).
  • "The Gemayzeh Incident of 1949:  Conflict over Physical and Symbolic Space in Beirut."  Arab Studies Journal  vol. 25 no.1 (2017): 92-112.
  • "From Social Tension to Protracted Civil Conflict: Using fsQCA to Analyze Conflict in Lebanon." COMPASSS Working Papers no. 66 (October 2011).
  • Book Review of Mordechai Nisan's Politics and War in Lebanon: Unraveling the Enigma. Journal of Military History 80, no.2 (April 2016).