Jonathan Sciarcon

Associate Professor; Chair, History

What I do

I teach courses related to the pre-modern and modern Middle East, United States foreign policy in the Middle East, Israel/Palestine, and American cultural and political engagement with Israel. My research focuses on the history of Jews in Ottoman and post-Ottoman Iraq. In addition to beyond cross-appointed in History and Judaic Studies, I am also affiliated with the University of Denver's Gender and Women's Studies program and the Center for Middle East Studies.

Professional Biography

I grew up in Rhode Island, about an hour south of Boston. I received my BA in History and Political Science in 2001 from the University of Delaware and my Ph.D. in History in 2010 from the University of California, Santa Barbara. In September 2010 I joined the faculty at the University of Denver as an Assistant Professor of History and Judaic Studies and was promoted to Associate Professor in September 2017.


  • Ph.D., History, University of California, Santa Barbara, 2010
  • MA, History, University of California, Santa Barbara, 2005
  • BA, History and Political Science, University of Delaware, 2001


My research has thus far focused on the work of the French-Jewish Alliance Israélite Universelle in the Ottoman Iraqi cities of Baghdad, Mosul, Hilla, and Basra as well as the Anglo-Jewish Association's work in Baghdad and Basra in this same period. My book, Educational Oases in the Desert: The Alliance Israélite Universelle's Girls' Schools in Ottoman Iraq, 1895-1915, was published in 2017 by SUNY Press.

Areas of Research

Iraqi Jewish history
Social history
Middle East history
Middle Eastern history
Ottoman history
cross-cultural encounter
U.S.-Israeli relations
Ottoman Women's history
Middle Eastern Women's history
Jewish Women's history