Adam Mestyan has two simultaneous research interests. The first is the problem of government in Arab polities in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The second research interest is urban history and the social aspects of globalization in modern Egypt using microhistorical methodology.
The first interest is embodied in a comparative history research project about Arabic monarchism and the making of Arab kingdoms between 1916-1932, with occasional excursions in global history, entitled Modern Arab Kingship.
The second research direction is a combination of microhistory, urbanism, social change, and economic history in Egypt and the late Ottoman Empire. In this direction, his next major publication is Magical History and Muslim Printing in Nineteenth-Century Cairo (Cairo: Ifao, 2019).
In addition, Mestyan has been writing essays about Islam and nationalism in the Arab world, the social transformation in the late Ottoman Empire, Arabic theater history, the theory and practice of archives and the origins of the Arabic public sphere.
Stemming from his separate doctoral dissertation, Mestyan is equally invested in the Western European cultural history of the nineteenth century, especially posing culture as a salon entertainment and the origins of modern dance.