I am a historian of the modern Arab world focusing on decolonization. My work puts Middle Eastern and North African studies into conversation, thereby bridging the gap that too often separates these closely related fields.
My first book, Globalizing Morocco: Transnational Activism and the Postcolonial State, examines the Moroccan nationalist movement's worldwide anti-colonial campaign against the French and Spanish protectorates, and how this in turn influenced domestic politics after independence in 1956. This fascinating episode of Cold War history elucidates the contributions made by non-state Third World actors to the formation of the post-1945 global order. Check out my interviews with the New Books Network and Jadaliyya for an introduction.
I am currently working on a new project entitled Popular Culture and Mass Politics in Wartime North Africa, 1939-45, which analyzes how ordinary North Africans experienced World War II. Despite the tremendous suffering caused by the global conflict, this pivotal period of North African history has been forgotten by academic and the general public alike. My work incorporates the experiences of Muslims, Jews, and European settlers into a single narrative. It shows how the war years created a shared historical experience while also accelerating social polarization that culminated in the region's decolonization after May 1945.
From April 2024 until August 2025, I will be a Humboldt Fellow at the LMU Munich.
If you are curious about anything, please send me an email!
david.stenner (at) cnu.edu | Find me on Academia.edu