Dr Sarah Irving


Health, Education, Policing and Sciences

I am a Lecturer in modern Middle Eastern history, specialising in the social and cultural history of Late Ottoman and Mandate Palestine and the broader Levant region. I am also currently a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow, researching a social history of the 1927 Jericho earthquake. I have published widely on Palestinian engagement in history and ethnographic writing, archaeology and education between 1890 and the Nakba, and also on representations of Arab-Jewish and Muslim-Jewish romances in Arabic fiction. I am also editor-in-chief of the journal Contemporary Levant, published by the Council for British Research in the Levant.

Prior to joining Staffordshire University I have worked in teaching and/or research roles at Edge Hill University, King’s College London, Leiden University, Linnaeus University (Sweden) and the University of Edinburgh. Before returning to university, my career in freelance writing, journalism, fairtrade and environmental campaign work took me to the SWANA region on a number of occasions, sparking my interest in the history of Palestine, Jordan and Lebanon. I am also the author and editor of a number of non-academic books on the region.

Professional memberships and activities

  • Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

Academic qualifications

  • Doctorate in Islamic & Middle Eastern Studies, University of Edinburgh
  • MSc in Arab World Studies, University of Edinburgh
  • MA(Econ) in International Political Economy, University of Manchester
  • BA (Hons) in Archaeology & Anthropology, University of Cambridge


  • Palestine/Israel
  • SWANA region
  • History
  • Colonialism
  • Gender
  • Labour
  • Environmental history
  • Subaltern studies
  • Arabic

Research interests

  • Palestinian history
  • Subaltern and colonial histories
  • History of Archaeology
  • Environmental history and humanities

Enterprise and commercial interests

Prior to returning to university, I worked in a number of small businesses and organisations concerned with environmental, human rights, animal rights and similar ethical questions, and provided press, communications and research services both as a freelance and staff member across the third sector. I supported and represented SMEs in the social enterprise sector on advisory boards at the Greater Manchester and NW regional level and have continued to mentor students interested in this sector.


[Journal article] Donations and their destinations in the 1927 Palestine Earthquake

Revue d’histoire culturelle, 2021



[Journal article] Palestine’s Syriac Orthodox community and the Dead Sea scrolls

Contemporary Levant, 2021

DOI: 10.1080/20581831.2021.1881720


[Book chapter] Palestinian Christians in the Mandate Department of Antiquities: History and Archaeology in a Colonial Space

In European Cultural Diplomacy and Arab Christians in Palestine, 1918–1948: Between Contention and Connection, ed. Karène Sanchez Summerer and Sary Zananiri

Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2021


[Book chapter] Introduction Part I Indigenising Cultural Diplomacy?

In European Cultural Diplomacy and Arab Christians in Palestine, 1918–1948: Between Contention and Connection, ed. Karène Sanchez Summerer and Sary Zananiri

Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2021


[Journal article] Elias Nasrallah Haddad: Translating Visions of Palestine

Jerusalem Quarterly, 2021



[Book chapter] Confronting the Mythic?: Najwan Darwish and Post-Millennium Palestinian Poetry

In Post-Millennial Palestine: Literature, Memory, Resistance, ed. Ahmad Qabaha and Rachel Gregory Fox

Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2021


[Book review] Al-Fahum and the al-Fahum Registry: A study of Nazareth

Palestine Exploration Quarterly, 2021

DOI: 10.1080/00310328.2021.1877419


[Book] Cultural Entanglement in the Pre-Independence Arab World: Art, Thought and Literature (edited by Anthony Gorman and Sarah Irving)

London: IB Tauris, 2020


[Book chapter]

Stephan Hanna Stephan and Evliya Çelebi's Book of Travels: Tracing cooperation and conflict in Mandate Palestinian translations

In Cultural Entanglement in the Pre-Independence Arab World: Art, Thought and Literature (ed. Anthony Gorman and Sarah Irving)

London: IB Tauris, 2020


[Book chapter] ‘Translator, Native Informant, Fixer: Activism and Translation in Mandate Palestine’

In The Routledge Handbook of Translation & Activism, ed. Rebecca Ruth Gould and Kayvan Tahmasebian

Abingdon: Routledge, 2020


[Book chapter] Nathan der Weise in Jerusalem: Elias Haddadʼs Re-appropriation of Tolerance in Mandate Palestine

In Translating World: Christianity across cultural boundaries, ed. Sabine Dedenbach-Salazar Sáenz

Baden: Collectanea Instituti Anthropos, 2019


[Book chapter] An ‘Honorary Man’ in the Holy Land? Mary Eliza Rogers, Gender and British Protestant Imperialism

In British Women Travellers: Empire and Beyond, 1770–1870, edited By Sutapa Dutta

New York: Routledge, 2019


[Book review] Imperial perceptions of Palestine: British influence and power in late Ottoman times

Palestine Exploration Quarterly, 2019

DOI: 10.1080/00310328.2019.1695366


[Book review] Impossible Exodus: Iraqi Jews in Israel, by Orit Bashkin

Mashriq & Mahjar, 2019



[Book review] On the Arab-Jew, Palestine, and other displacements: selected writings

Contemporary Levant, 2019

DOI: 10.1080/20581831.2019.1644772


[Journal article] ‘This is Palestine’: history and modernity in guidebooks to Mandate Palestine

Contemporary Levant, 2019

DOI: 10.1080/20581831.2019.1594613


[Book review] From Khartoum to Jerusalem: the Dragoman Solomon Negima and his Clients (1885–1933)

Palestine Exploration Quarterly, 2018

DOI: 10.1080/00310328.2018.1496997


[Joural article] A Young Man of Promise: finding a place for Stephan Hanna Stephan in the History of Mandate Palestine

Jerusalem Quarterly, 2018

ISSN: 0334-4800


[Journal article] A Tale of Two Yusifs: Recovering Arab Agency in Palestine Exploration Fund Excavations, 1890-1924.

Palestine Exploration Quarterly, 2017

DOI: 10.1080/00310328.2017.1323294


[Journal article] Love as a Peace Process? Arab-Jewish Love in the Anglophone Palestinian Novels of Naomi Shihab Nye and Samir El-Youssef

Commonwealth Essays & Studies, 2017



[Book review] Mahmud Ghanayim, The Lure of the Title: Text and Context in Palestinian Fiction, 1948-2012.

Journal of Semitic Studies, 2017

DOI: 10.1093/jss/fgw047


[Journal article] Gender, Conflict, and Muslim-Jewish Romance: Reading ‘Ali al-Muqri's The Handsome Jew and Mahmoud Saeed’s The World Through the Eyes of Angels.

Journal of Middle East Women's Studies, 2016



[Book review] Rhetorics of belonging: nation, narration, and Israel/Palestine

Journal of Modern Jewish Studies, 2016

DOI: 10.1080/14725886.2016.1242322


[Book review] Agency and Gender in Gaza: Masculinity, Femininity, and Family during the Second Intifada by Aitemad Muhanna

Journal of Middle East Women's Studies, 2016

DOI: 10.1215/15525864-3507683


[Book review] Aesthetics of Sorrow: the wailing culture of Yemenite Jewish women

Journal of Modern Jewish Studies, 2015

DOI: 10.1080/14725886.2015.1041266

External profiles

in the UK for Quality Education

Sustainable Development Goal 4, Times Higher Education Impact Rankings 2023

for Career Prospects

Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2023

for Facilities

Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2023

for Social Inclusion

The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023

of Research Impact is ‘Outstanding’ or ‘Very Considerable’

Research Excellence Framework 2021

of Research is “Internationally Excellent” or “World Leading”

Research Excellence Framework 2021

Four Star Rating

QS Star Ratings 2021