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Matthew Jacobs

Office: 206 Keene-Flint Hall
Phone: (352) 273-3371
Fax: (352) 392-6927
Website: wwwPersonal webpage
Mailing address:
Department of History
University of Florida
P.O. Box 117320
Gainesville, FL 32611-7320

Associate Professor Matthew Jacobs received his Ph.D. in 2002 in U.S. History with a specialty in Foreign Relations from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, his M.A. in 1996 from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and his B.A. in 1993 from Cornell University. He teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on twentieth century U.S. foreign relations, particularly with the Middle East, and international and world history more broadly. He has received the Department of History’s John K. Mahon Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching (2004-2005) and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Teacher of the Year Award (2009-2010).

Professor Jacobs’ first book, entitled Imagining the Middle East: The Building of An American Foreign Policy, 1918-1967, was published by the University of North Carolina Press in summer 2011. An Arabic language edition (Sutour Publications) and an English language edition (American University of Cairo Press) were released simultaneously in the Middle East. The book examines the ways in which an informal network of specialists in academia, business, the government and the media interpreted the Middle East and the United States’ role there through the middle half of the twentieth century. He published an early version of a portion of this work that focused on interpretations of Islam in Diplomatic History (September 2006).

Professor Jacobs has begun work on two new projects. The first, tentatively titledIslam and US, investigates official and unofficial U.S. responses to the rise of political Islam as a global phenomenon since 1960. Thus, the work will deal with U.S. involvement in Africa and Asia as well as the Middle East. The second project uses sports as a vehicle to examine critical issues in post-1945 international history (i.e., colonialism/post-colonialism, the international economy, sports as an arena for the prevention and/or extension of international conflict, etc.).

Professor Jacobs serves as the Department of History’s webmaster and as a member of several department, college, and university committees. He also works to expand departmental offerings in the field of world history.