I studied history as an undergraduate at the University of Chicago. One year after graduating, I took up studying Arabic in Lebanon and Egypt before returning to Chicago for a master’s in Middle Eastern Studies. I stayed on for a doctorate in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations. In the course of these studies, I spent one year studying at Bilkent University in Ankara and another year conducting research in Istanbul. Immediately before coming to Birmingham, I spent two years as a research fellow at Exeter College, Oxford. In 2016, my doctoral dissertation was awarded the Malcolm H. Kerr Dissertation Award in the Humanities from the Middle East Studies Association of North America.