Dr Camille Cole

Specialising in
Middle East

Camille Cole is a historian of the late Ottoman Empire, focusing on histories of law, environment, and capitalism in Iraq and the Persian Gulf region.

Degrees obtained

  • BA, Pomona College.
  • MPhil, Cantab.
  • MA, Yale University.
  • PhD, Yale University.

Awards and prizes

  • Arthur and Mary Wright dissertation prize (history outside the US and Europe), Yale University, 2020.
  • Joel A. Tarr Envirotech article prize, Society for the History of Technology, 2017.


Camille Cole is a historian of the modern Middle East, focusing on the late Ottoman Empire. Her current research explores how local elites shaped the emergence of capitalism and modern state practice in the Persian Gulf port city of Basra. Another project addresses the intellectual and environmental history of the concession across Latin America and the Middle East. Previously, she worked on infrastructure and development projects in Iraq and Iran.

Dr Cole is co-editor of the Jadaliyya Environment Page and member of the environment module for the Middle East Studies Pedagogy Project.

Department link


Publications, links and resources

  • ‘Controversial investments: trade and infrastructure in Ottoman-British relations in Iraq, 1861-1918,” Middle Eastern Studies (2018): 744-68.
  • ‘Precarious empires: a social and environmental history of steam navigation on the Tigris,’ Journal of Social History (2016): 74-101.

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