Mona L. Russell

Mona L. Russell

Ph.D., Georgetown

Office: Brewster A-322


Phone: 252-328-6326



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 recently published History, Women, and Gender in the Modern Middle East: From Orientalism to the Arab Spring with Lisa Pollard, Professor Emerita UNC-Wilmington.

Selected Publications:

Russell, Mona L. “The New Woman, Her New Clothes, and Her New Education:  Missionary Encounters and Consuming the Exotic.” Journal of World History 32, No.4 (2021):  631-653.

Russell, Mona L. “Beauty Standards in Egypt:  Popular Consumer Culture and the Representation of Women.” Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies 17, No.3 (2021):  366-394.

“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.

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)