Kenneth M Cuno

Profile picture for Kenneth M Cuno

Contact Information

Department of History
309 Gregory Hall
810 S Wright, MC-466
Urbana, IL 61801



Kenneth M. Cuno researches, teaches, and writes about the history of the modern Middle East. He received a Ph.D. in history at UCLA in 1985, and taught at the American University in Cairo before coming to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1990. He is the author of Modernizing Marriage: Family, Ideology, and Law in Nineteenth- and Early Twentieth-Century Egypt (2015), which was awarded the Albert Hourani Book Prize by the Middle East Studies Association. Other recent books include Race and Slavery in Nineteenth-Century Egypt, Sudan, and the Ottoman Mediterranean: Histories of Trans-Saharan Africans, co-edited with Terence Walz (2010); and Family, Gender, and Law in a Globalizing Middle East and South Asia, co-edited with Manisha Desai (2009). He also authored the chapter on nineteenth-century Egypt in The New Cambridge History of Islam, vol. 5 (2010).

Research Interests

Social, economic, and legal history of the modern Middle East; family history.


Ph.D. UCLA 1985

Additional Campus Affiliations

Professor, Program in Jewish Culture and Society
Professor, Global Studies Programs and Courses

Honors & Awards

Honorable Mention, Albert Hourani Book Prize, awarded by the Middle East Studies Association, for The Pasha's Peasants, 1993.
Albert Hourani Book Prize awarded by the Middle East Studies Association, for Modernizing Marriage, 2015.

Recent Publications

Cuno, K. M. (2017). Contextualizing Muhammad 'Abduh's views on the family, marriage, and divorce. In J. E. Lowry, & S. M. Toorawa (Eds.), Arabic Humanities, Islamic Thought: Essays in Honor of Everett K. Rowson (pp. 375-392). (Islamic History and Civilization; Vol. 141). Brill Academic Publishers.

Cuno, K. M. (2016). Reorganization of the Sharia courts of Egypt: How legal modernization set back women’s rights in the nineteenth century. In Law and Legality in the Ottoman Empire and Republic of Turkey (pp. 92-107). Indiana University Press.

Cuno, K. M. (2015). Claiming heriship: A Litigant Strategy in the Sharia courts of nineteenth-century Egypt. Paper presented at National Institutes for the Humanities of Japan Program for Islamic Area Studies Fifth International Conference, Tokyo, Japan.

Cuno, K. M. (2015). Modernizing marriage: Family, ideology, and law in nineteenth and early twentieth century Egypt. Syracuse: Syracuse University Press.

Cuno, K. M. (2015). Reorganization of the Sharia Courts of Egypt: How Legal Modernization Set Back Women's Rights in the Nineteenth Century. Journal of the Ottoman and Turkish Studies Association, 2(1), 85-99.

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