Associate Professor, History
Melanie S. Tanielian is associate professor in the History Department at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Currently, Professor Tanielian is an ACLS/NEH International and Area Studies Fellow & Hanse-Wissenschaftskolleg, Institute for Advanced Study Fellow. She received her PhD in history from the University of California, Berkeley, where she studied under the guidance of Prof. Beshara Doumani. Her research and teaching interests include the social and cultural history of WWI in the Middle East, the emergence of religious philanthropic societies and their work in times of conflict, the history of German missionaries, social Protestantism and modern humanitarianism, disease, medicine, and hospitals. Her monograph The Charity of War: Famine, Humanitarian Aid and World War I in the Middle East tells how the Ottoman home front grappled with total war and how it sought to mitigate starvation and sickness through relief activities. It examines the wartime famine's reverberations throughout the community: in Beirut's municipal institutions, in its philanthropic and religious organizations, in international agencies, and in the homes of the city's residents. This local history reveals a dynamic politics of provisioning that was central to civilian experiences in the war, as well as to the Middle Eastern political landscape that emerged post-war. By tracing these responses to the conflict, it demonstrates World War I's immediacy far from the European trenches, in a place where war was a socio-economic and political process rather than a military event.
Her research has been supported by the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS), the Nation Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) International and Area Studies, the European Institute for Advanced Studies, the Allan Sharlin Memorial Grant for Dissertation Research, the DAAD Graduate Fellowship, and the Sultan Fellowship from the Center of Middle Eastern Studies at the University of California, Berkeley.
- Armenian Studies Program
- Program in International and Comparative Studies
"Feeding the City: The Beirut Municipality and Civilian Provisioning During World War I,” in International Journal of Middle East Studies, 46 (2014), 737-758.
“Politics of Wartime Relief in Ottoman Beirut,” in First World War Studies, 5 (2014): 69-82.
“Food and Nutrition (Ottoman Empire/Middle East),” in 1914-1918-online.International Encyclopedia of the First World War, ed. Ute Daniel, Peter Gatrell, Oliver Janz, Heather Jones, Jennifer Keene, Alan Kramer, issued by Freie Universität Berlin, Berlin 2014-10-8.
“Disease and Public Health (Ottoman Empire/Middle East),” in 1914-1918-online. International Encyclopedia of the First World War, ed. Ute Daniel, Peter Gatrell, Oliver Janz, Heather Jones, Jennifer Keene, Alan Kramer, issued by Freie Universität Berlin, Berlin 2014-10-8
“A Taste of Home: The Modern Middle Class in Ottoman Beirut” by Toufoul Abou-Hodeib,” American Historical Review, (2018) 123 (2): 666-668.
"The Emergence of Minorities in the Middle East: The Politics of Community in French Mandate Syria" by Benjamin Thomas White," English Historical Review, (2015) 130 (547): 1602-1604.
"Review of Haugbolle, Sune, War, and Memory in Lebanon." H-Levant, H-Net Reviews. October 2010.
Field(s) of Study
- Social and cultural history of the modern Middle East
- War, violence and human rights
- History of youth and childhood, Early 20th-century Lebanon