Elizabeth "Beth" Brownson

  • Associate Professor - History
  • History Department
  • Ph.D., University of California, Santa Barbara, 2008
  • PHONE: (262) 595-3416
  • EMAIL: brownson@uwp.edu
Elizabeth Brownson


  • Middle Eastern History
  • Palestine/Israel
  • Muslim Family Law and Islamic Feminism
  • Gender and Empire
  • World History
I have been a faculty member at UW-P since 2012 and was awarded tenure in 2018. I completed my undergraduate studies at Colorado State University, Fort Collins. My M.A. and Ph.D. are from the University of California, Santa Barbara, where I received a Fulbright-Hays fellowship to complete my dissertation.

Teaching Interests

My modern Middle East course examines imperialism and nationalist movements, Islamist groups, U.S. wars and foreign policy, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the 2011 uprisings across the Arab world, and the current wars in Syria and Yemen.
My approaches to teaching World History, the Middle East, Palestine-Israel, and Asia emphasize gender, race, and class as tools of analysis. My classes also explore social history, such as patterns of consumption and production, and other aspects of people’s everyday lives.

Research Interests

My research interests intersect topics of gender, Muslim Family Law, MFL reform, imperialism, and Palestinian history. My recent book, Palestinian Women and Muslim Family Law in the Mandate Period (Syracuse UP 2019), sheds new light on Palestinian Muslim women’s agency in shari‘a courts from the British Mandate period to the present, finding that women’s understanding of family law fundamentals has enabled some to deftly navigate the system.

Consulting Interests

Selected Publications

2022: Review of Shay Hazkani, "Dear Palestine, A Social History of the 1948 War" , Canadian Journal of History, University of Toronto Press (493-495 pp.)

: Muslim Women's Religious and Social Activism in Palestine, Lebanon, and Syria, Oxford University Press

2019: "Legislating Gender in Mandate Palestine: Colonial Laws on Midwifery, Employment, and Marriage", Palgrave (169-193 pp.)

2019: Palestinian Women and Muslim Family Law in the Mandate Period, Syracuse University Press

2018: "Reforms or Restrictions? The Ottoman Muslim Family Law Code and Women’s Marital Status", Brill

2017: "Enacting Imperial Control: Midwifery Regulation in Mandate Palestine", Journal of Palestine Studies/University of California Press (27-42 pp.)

2015: Review of This is Jerusalem Calling: State Radio in Mandate Palestine, Journal of Palestine Studies of UC Press (4-6 pp.)

2014: "Colonialism, Palestinian Nationalism, and the Politics of Teaching History in Mandate Palestine", Journal of Palestine Studies, University of California Press

2013: Review of A Quiet Revolution: The Veil's Resurgence, from the Middle East to America, Arab Studies Quarterly, Pluto Journals (3 pp.)

2013: Review of Consuming Desires: Family Crisis and the State in the Middle East, Journal of Middle East Women's Studies, Indiana University Press

University Service

: Committee Member - Center for Professional Studies Committee
: Committee Member - Center for International Studies Steering Committee

Public Service

2018: Discussant - Harvard Law School, Islamic Legal Studies Program
HIST 103 - History/Cultures Modern Asia
HIST 104 - Introdction to the Middle East
HIST 126 - Wrld Hist I: Antiquity to 1300
HIST 128 - World Hist III 1800 to Present
HIST 128 - Wrld Hist III 1800 to Present
HIST 260 - International Conflict:
HIST 290 - Special Topics in History:
HIST 315 - History of Modern Middle East
HIST 318 - History of Islam
HIST 319 - Arab-Israeli Conflict
HIST 460 - International Conflict:
HIST 490 - Special Topics in History:
HIST 499 - Independent Study:
INTS 103 - History/Cultures Modern Asia
INTS 499 - Independent Study:
WGSS 110 - Intr Wmns/Gndr/Sxualty Studies
Scroll to top