Adam Mestyan has been interested in the relationship between power and representation in the modern Middle East and Islam. At the moment, he works on three major publication projects in addition to articles.
The first is entitled Praise and Books in Nineteenth-Century Egypt and it is the English translation and edition of a hitherto unknown Arabic manuscript about the ancient history of Egypt. Based on archival and other materials, the introduction to this translation reconstructs the world of Muslim sheikhs in the age of printing and fundamentally changes our perception of the origins of public sphere in the Middle East. This book will be published by IFAO.
Second, the next book project is Cosmopolitanism and Empire – Musical Theater in the Eastern Mediterranean. The key goal of the book is to explore the transimperial entertainment networks and entanglements that shaped and were shaped by the lives and adventures of Ottoman Armenian, Turkish, and Arab impresarios and troupes. It breaks up and challenges purely national narratives of art and theater histories, making the book a major statement for the cosmopolitan construction of local cultures.
Finally, Modern Arab Kingship is a study in the history and representation of Arab sovereignty in the twentieth century. How did nationalism and Islam interact in monarchical structures? Through the comparison of six Arab monarchies in the interwar period, the book explores the Arabic ideology and imagination of nation-states as monarchical forms under colonial rule.
Stemming from his separate doctoral dissertation, Mestyan is equally interested in the Western European cultural history of the nineteenth century, especially posing culture as a salon entertainment and the origins of modern dance.