Deen is an urban geographer whose research focuses on the political economy of urbanization in the “Middle East”. He was previously a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He holds a PhD in Earth Environmental Sciences (Geography Track) at the Graduate Center, City University of New York, a MSc in International Politics from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) and BA in Human Geography from Queen Mary University.
He is the co-editor of Beyond the Square: Urbanism and the Arab Uprisings (Urban Research: 2016) and Open Gaza (University in Cairo Press: In Print). His most recent journal article “Difference as practice: Diffracting geography and the area studies turn” was published in Progress in Human Geography. Deen’s doctoral dissertation focuses on the corporation and urban development in the Eastern Mediterranean. He argues that the corporation is far more than a mere business and is in fact one of the most important apparatuses in the organization of our socio-spatial relations. The dissertation through an analysis of a 19th Century French joint-stock corporation, Compagnie Impériale Ottomane de la Route Beyrouth-Damas, and Solidere, the corporation that led the reconstruction of Beirut following the Lebanese Civil War (1975-1991), explores the force of the corporation in assembling urban social life.
Deen is currently writing his book on what he terms “capitalizing urbanization”, it examines the way in which urban development corporations have shaped urban fabrics across the Middle East and beyond. This book provisionally titled Capitalising Urbanisation in the Corporate Middle East will be published by the University of California Press in 2021. He is also actively engaged in scholarly and policy discussions around the urbanization of violence and conflict. Deen is currently working on a edited volume on the spatial dynamics of the conflict in Syria with Nasser Rabbat, provisionally entitled, Reconstruction as Violence: The case of Syria. This book will be published by the American University in Cairo Press in 2021.
Sharp, D. “Difference as Practice: Diffracting Geography and the Area Studies Turn.” Progress in Human Geography 43(5): 835-852, 2018.
Sharp, D and Panetta, C (eds.) Beyond the Square: Urbanism and the Arab Uprisings. New York: Urban Research, 2016.
Sharp, D. “In the Presence of Absence: The Arab Uprisings.” In: Singh P (ed) Re-envisaging West Asia: Looking beyond the Arab Uprisings. Delhi: Shipra Publications, 2016, 1-9.