Michael E. Gasper is Associate Professor of History at Occidental College in Los Angeles California. He has been named a Carnegie Scholar and a Mellon Scholar and is the author/editor of two books: The Power of Representation: Publics, Peasants and Islam in Egypt (Stanford University Press, 2009) and Is there a Middle East: The Evolution of a Geo-Political Concept (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2011). He is currently finishing a manuscript entitled Identitarianism, State, and Sovereignty: Living Through the Lebanese Civil War (1975-1990). Gasper teaches courses on the History of the Modern Middle East and North Africa, the History of the Ottoman Empire and the History of Islam and the Muslim World.