Beshara Doumani is the inaugural Mahmoud Darwish Professor of Palestinian Studies, the first chair of its kind dedicated to this field of study. He is also the founding director (2012-2018) of Brown's Center for Middle East Studies (CMES), and founder of New Directions for Palestinian Studies, a CMES initiative since 2012. From 2012-2020 he was the Joukowsky Family Distinguished Professor of Modern Middle East History.
Doumani's research focuses on groups, places, and time periods marginalized by mainstream scholarship on the early modern and modern Middle East, with a focus on the social, economic, and legal history of Eastern Mediterranean. He also writes on the topics of academic freedom, and the Palestinian condition. His books include Rediscovering Palestine: Merchants and Peasants in Jabal Nablus, 1700-1900, and Family Life in the Ottoman Mediterranean: A Social History. He is currently working on the modern history of the Palestinians through the social life of stone.
Doumani is the editor of a book series on Palestinian Studies published by the University of California Press, co-editor of the Jerusalem Quarterly and editorial committee member of the Journal of Palestine Studies. From 2009-2011, Doumani led a team that produced a strategic plan for the establishment of the Palestinian Museum. In 2015, Doumani and received the Sawyer Seminar award from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for the proposal, Displacement and the Making of the Modern World: Histories, Ecologies, and Subjectivities.
Doumani joined Brown in 2012 after fourteen years at the University of California, Berkeley, and was first tenured at the University of Pennsylvania. He was a fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars (1997-1998), the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin (2001-2002), and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University (2006-2007). He was also a member of the Institute for Advanced Studies, Princeton (2018-2019).