Pelle Valentin Olsen

Pelle Valentin Olsen

PhD, PhD

  • Universitetsvej 1, 14.1

    DK-4000 Roskilde


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Personal profile


I am a postdoctoral fellow in the Entangled Histories of Palestine and the Global New Left research project. My postdoctoral research focuses on the thousands of foreigners, who visited and trained in Palestinian camps in Lebanon and Jordan. My project econstructs the encounters of these foreign volunteers through fieldwork in Lebanon, Jordan, and Europe. My research draws on party documents, memoirs, newspapers, personal papers and semi-structured interviews with current and former members of Fatah, PFLP, DFLP and Lebanese New Left movements. 

I joined RUC in August 2020. I received my PhD (with honors) from the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at the University of Chicago where I worked with Professor Orit Bashkin and Professor Ghenwa Hayek. I also hold degrees from the University of Oxford and the University of Copenhagen. I studied Arabic in Syria and Lebanon.My  work centers on 20th century Iraqi and Middle Eastern History. My PhD dissertation examined the history of leisure, education, gender, and sexuality in Hashemite Iraq. In addition to book reviews, I have published in the Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies and I regularly present at conferences in Europe and North America. In 2016-17 I aught Arabic as a lecturer at the University of Chicago. My research has been supported by the Fulbright Commission, The Nicholson Center for British Studies, The Center Jewish Studies, The Danish Institute in Damascus, The Danish Institute in Rome, St. Antony’s College Oxford, The UChicago Urban Doctoral Fellowship, and The German Orient Institut in Beirut, among others. In 2018, I was awarded a two-year Hanna Holborn Gray Fellowship at the University of Chicago. In addition to a number journal articles on cinema, nightlife, and juvenile delinquency in 20thcentury Iraq, I am currently working on a book manuscript based on my dissertation. 


Education/Academic qualification

Modern Middle Eastern History, PhD, University of Chicago

Award Date: 3 Aug 2020

Modern Middle Eastern Studies, MPhil, University of Oxford

Award Date: 30 Jun 2014

Arabic and Middle Eastern Studies, BA, Department of Cross-Cultural and Regional Studies, University of Copenhagen

Award Date: 1 Jan 2012


  • History, Society
  • Iraq
  • Palestine
  • Global History
  • Modern Arabic Literature
  • Leisure Studies
  • Nationalism
  • Middle East
  • Cinema studies
  • Urban history
  • Transnational History
  • Gender Studies
  • Cultural History
  • Sexuality
  • Education
  • New Left
  • Activism
  • Solidarity
  • 1970s

Publication network

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