American Druze Foundation Fellow
Dr. Benan Grams is a social historian of disease and medicine in the Modern Middle East. Her research focuses on the intersectionality of the history of disease, public health, environmental history and urbanization in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Her dissertation, “Damascus in the Time of Cholera: The Social Impact of Epidemics on the Transformation of Ottoman Damascus, 1848-1918,” examines the impact of cholera epidemics, the nineteenth century’s most feared disease, on the history of Damascus and on the lives of its inhabitants. During her fellowship, Dr. Grams is expanding on her dissertation, utilizing research gathered at the Ottoman Archives to examine how the cholera epidemic affected the Druze community in Syria and its relationship with the Ottoman government. Her investigation will contribute to our understanding of the impact of short-term crises like epidemics on various communities and marginalized groups across Syrian society. Dr. Grams earned her PhD in history and an MA in Arab Studies from Georgetown University. She also holds an MA in Economic Development and International Studies from Friedrich Alexander University Erlangen-Germany, and a BA in international business from Georg-Simon-Ohm, Nuremberg-Germany.