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Kristen Alff

Asst Professor


Department of History

International Studies

Withers Hall NA

View CV 


Kristen Alff specializes in the history of the Middle East and North Africa and the global political economy. She is interested in explorations of gender, race, and the environment in the history of global capitalism. Alff is at work on her first book, Levantine Joint-Stock Companies: a History of Global Capitalism : 1830-1930. It traces the practices of competition and cooperation between joint-stock companies across the Mediterranean, which gave global capitalism its shape. Her second book investigates the evolution of land sales between Levantine companies and Jewish land purchasers in Palestine between the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Alff’s work has appeared in Comparative Studies in Society and History and Enterprise and Society. Alff has also written in public history forums such as The Conversation, The Economic Historian, and World History Commons.

Office Hours

  • Tue/Thurs 3-4, Withers 462
Or By Appointment


Research Publications

Book Chapters

“Landed Property, Capital Accumulation, and Polymorphous Capitalism in Egypt and the Levant, 1850-1920” in eds. Joel Beinin, Bassam Haddad, Sherene Seikaly, Critical Political Economy of the Middle East and North Africa, (Forthcoming, Stanford University Press, 2021).

Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles

“Levantine Joint-Stock Companies, Trans-Mediterranean Partnerships and Nineteenth-Century Capitalist Development,” Comparative Studies in Society and History, 60:1, (January 2018).

“The Business of Property: Land, Law, and Capitalism Around the Mediterranean,” Enterprise and Society (Sept. 2020).

Manuscripts in Preparation

“Settler Land Purchases and Agribusiness in Palestine, 1830-1925,” International Journal for Middle East Studies, (revising for resubmission , expected 2023).

Area(s) of Expertise

Alff is interested in global history, international studies, political economy of the global south, modern Middle East history, business history, gender studies, environmental history, disaspora studies, and the history of the company