Mona L. Russell

Mona L. Russell

Associate Professor
Ph.D., Georgetown

Office: Brewster A-322


Phone: 252-328-6326

Spring 2022 Office Hours: History 2000: Tuesday & Thursday 8-9:15 and by appointment


Although her parents are non-North Carolinians, Mona Russell was raised in North Carolina from the age of two and considers it home. She graduated from North Carolina State University in 1987 with a B.A. in History and certification to teach high-school social studies. She received a Ph.D. in Modern Middle East history from Georgetown University in 1998, with a minor in American Diplomatic history. She studied with Marcus Rediker, Alan Karras, John McNeill and Elizabeth Fox-Genovese, contributing to her interest in the Atlantic World and World History. Language study has been an important part of her training, and it would not have been possible had it not been for the intensive programs of Arabic at Georgetown and a fellowship from the Center for Arabic Study Abroad (CASA) at the American University in Cairo completed in 1991-92. Before coming to ECU, Dr. Russell taught at the American University in Cairo, Framingham State College, University of Massachusetts — Amherst, and MIT. She feels that she has gained valuable insights from all the students that she has taught over the years.

Much of Dr. Russell’s research focuses upon gender and consumerism in modern Egypt. Her book, Creating the New Egyptian Woman: Consumerism, Education, and National Identity, 1863-1922 was published in 2004, and her current project on Egyptian advertising 1922-1952, encompasses similar themes, including masculinity and portrayals of children and the emerging middle class. Mona Russell’s deep commitment to education has meant that she rarely has turned down an offer to write an encyclopedia entry, thus her entries run the gamut from her areas of interest e.g. gender, education and national identity in specialized reference works to more generalized topics in Islamic history for Worldbook and Encyclopedia Americana. She is also the author/editor for a reference book on Egypt for ABC-Clio due out in 2013. She is currently working on A History of Women and Gender in the Modern Middle East with her colleague Lisa Pollard from UNC-Wilmington, due out in 2017.

Selected Publications:

“Marketing the Modern Egyptian Girl: Whitewashing Soap & Clothes.” Journal of Middle Eastern Women’s Studies Vol. 6 No. 3 (Fall 2010).

Creating the New Egyptian Woman: Consumerism, Education, and National Identity, 1963-1922. New York: Palgrave, 2004.

“The Use of Textbooks as a Source of History for Women: The Case of Egypt.” Chapter in Beyond the Exotic: Women’s Histories in Islamic Societies, Amira Sonbol, ed. Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 2004.

“Rethinking Critical Moments, Technology, and Research Agendas in the Post-9/11 World.” History and Technology Vol. 19, No. 1 (March 2003).

Courses Offered:

HIST 1030: World Civilizations to 1500
HIST 1031: World Civilizations Since 1500HIST 2150: Shop Til You Drop: Consumerism
HIST 3699: Classical Islamic History
HIST 3670/6570: History of the Middle East
HIST 3680/6580:  Women & Gender in the Middle East
HIST 5005: Ottoman History (Special Topic)
HIST 5005: History of the Modern Middle East (Special Topic)
HIST 5005: Israel & the Arabs: A History of Coexistence & Conflict (Special Topic)
HIST 5220:  History of Arab-American Women through Literature
HIST 5300: Comparative History of Non-Western Civilizations
HIST 6900:  Historiography
ETHN 3501: Arabs in Arab-American Literature and American Film (Special Topic)