Wesleyan portrait of Bruce A. Masters

Bruce A. Masters

John E. Andrus Professor of History


Professor of History

Public Affairs Center, 137

Coordinator, Middle Eastern Studies


BS Georgetown University
MAA Wesleyan University
PHD University of Chicago

Bruce A. Masters

Current projects:; Comparatice study of the role of social memory in the creation of conflicts in divided societies: Northern Ireland, Bosnia, Lebanon & Iraq; Published works include: The Arabs of the Ottoman Empire, 1516-1918: A Social and Cultural History ( 2013, Cambridge University Press), Christians and Jews in the Ottoman Arab World (2001) The Origins of Western Economic Dominance in the Middle East: Mercantilism and the Islamic Economy in Aleppo, 1600-1750 East (1988); ); The Ottoman City between East and West, co-authored with Edhem Eldem and Daniel Goffman (1999); Encyclopedia of the Ottoman Empire, co-authored with Gabor Agoston (2009); Contributions to The Cambridge History of Turkey (2006) and The Cambridge History of Islam (2010), various articles and chapters in edited books


Bruce Masters majored in Arabic at Georgetown University, during which time he spent his junior year abroad at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. After graduation he spent three years in Cairo studying Arabic and working as a research assistant in a project out of Cambridge University  UK to create a dictionary of colloquial Egyptian Arabic. He then went to the University of Chicago where he earned a Ph.D in Near Eastern Languages & Civilizations with fields in Ottoman History & Islamic law. He has been at Wesleyan since 1982 teaching courses on Middle Eastern history from the rise of Islam to the present.

Academic Affiliations

Office Hours

Fall 2019:  Tuesday 11-12, Friday 10-11 or by appointment.


Fall 2019
HIST 177 - 01
Ireland's Troubled Past

HIST 251 - 01
Empires in World History

Spring 2020
HIST 231 - 01
Islamic Civilization

HIST 234 - 01
Modern Middle East