Islamic Studies Today 1993
Roger Owen Named A. J. Meyer Professor of Middle East History
Born and educated in Great Britain, Edward “Roger” Owen’s interest in the Middle East began with his military service when he was stationed in Cyprus and traveled across the region. After earning his Ph.D. at Oxford in 1965, he taught Middle Eastern economic history and politics at the same university. In 1993, Professor Owen came to Harvard as the first A. J. Meyer Professor of Middle East History and helped to balance Harvard’s strength in pre-modern Middle Eastern history with his expertise in the modern period. In addition to courses in the Core Curriculum, Professor Owen offered graduate seminars on subjects such as theoretical and empirical debates in the economic and social history of the Middle East. From 1996 to 1999, he served as the director of CMES and made it his priority to re-establish ties between the Center and the Arab World that had withered with the passing of A. J. Meyer. Among his many publications are Cotton and the Egyptian Economy, 1820-1914: A Study in Trade and Development (1969), The Middle East in the World Economy (1993), and Lord Cromer: Victorian Imperialist, Edwardian Proconsul (2004).