A.K.J.M. (Anaïs) Massot

  • PhD student
  • Middle Eastern Studies

Telephone number: +31 (0)71 527 2171
E-Mail: a.k.j.m.massot@hum.leidenuniv.nl
Faculty / Department: Faculteit der Geesteswetenschappen, Leiden Institute for Area Studies, SMES APT

PhD research

Inter-Confessional Relations and Political Change from 1740-1860 in Ottoman Damascus

Supervisors: Dr. Tsolin Nalbantian, Prof. dr. Erik-Jan Zürcher, Prof. dr. Bernard Heyberger (EHESS/EPHE)

The topic of this research is changes in inter-confessional relations from the mid-18th to the mid-19th century Ottoman Damascus. The mid-18th century, and especially the rule of As’ad Pasha, is often remembered as the most propitious time for Christians and Jews in Damascus. The mid-19th century, on the other hand, is remembered through the massacre of Christians of 1860 and is taken to represent the worst period for non-Muslims in Ottoman Damascus. This research will adress the relation between political, economic and urban changes and the nature of inter-confessional relations from 1740 to 1860. It shed light on the relation between urban organization, political institutions, group formation and inter-confessional relations. It will present an urban history of Ottoman Damascus from 1740 to 1860 featuring ‘minorities’ as embedded and integrated actors that can no longer be considered in isolation.


Dec 2012- June 2013: Master 2 in Sciences of Religions and Society
Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris
Master Thesis: « Uléma, Mouvements de Reforme Religieuse et Chrétiens de Damas, Relations Interconfessionnelles au début du 19ème siècle » under the supervision of Bernard Heyberger, EHESS/EPHE.

Jan 2011- Dec 2012: Research Master, Area Studies: Asia and the Middle East, Leiden University
Master Thesis: « Urban Change, Political Modernity and Inter-confessional Relations in the Early 19th  century Damascus » under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Murre van den Berg, Leiden University. Cum Laude.

Sept 2008- July 2010: Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and International Development, McGill University 

Sept 2006- Dec 2007: Associate Degree in Peace and Conflict Resolution
Mira Costa College, California


Phd Scholarship Paris Nouveaux Mondes 2013 (HeSam/France)


« Modernization, Communal Space and Inter-Confessional Conflicts in Nineteenth- Century Damascus » Syrian Studies Association Bulletin, vol. 17, n°2 (2012).

Conference papers

September 2013 : Fourth annual LUCIS conference: Common ground? Changing interpretations of public space in the Middle East among Jews, Christians and Muslims in the 19th and 20th Century, Leiden University.
« Ottoman Damascus during the Tanzimat:the new visibility of religious distinctions »
Publication upcoming

2013 : Social History Society Annual Conference, University of Leeds.
« Jean Sauvaget’s Encounter with the Other: Order, Heritage and History »

May 2012 : International Postgraduate Symposium : Middle Earth, Exchange, Influence, Memory & Legacy 300-2012, ERI, University of Birmingham.
« The Greeks in Venetian Nation-building: Bernardo Guistinani’s History of Venice »

March 2012 : MESAAS Graduate Conference ‘Sites of Modernity’ 
Université de Columbia, New York
« Communal Conflicts in 19th century Damascus »

February 2012 : Colloque international : L'Emir Abdelkader, Homme de tous les Temps, 
Tlemcen, Algeria
« Le rôle de l’émir Abd el Kader dans les évènements de 1860 à Damas»
Publication upcoming

Last Modified: 11-12-2015