Zvi Ben-Dor Benite

Zvi Ben-Dor Benite
Associate Vice Chancellor for Global Network Faculty Planning; Professor of History and Middle Eastern & Islamic Studies, NYU

As Associate Vice Chancellor for Global Network Faculty Planning, Zvi is responsible for the coordination of faculty hiring at NYU Abu Dhabi and NYU Shanghai, including full time tenure-track faculty at NYU Abu Dhabi and NYU Shanghai; joint tenure-track faculty between NYU Abu Dhabi, NYU Shanghai, and NYU in New York; faculty fellows at NYU Abu Dhabi and NYU Shanghai; visiting faculty at NYU Abu Dhabi and NYU Shanghai, and global network professors. In addition, Zvi coordinates the assignments of faculty based in New York to affiliated faculty positions at NYU Abu Dhabi and NYU Shanghai and NYU's global sites, in full consultation with the relevant deans and department chairs, and Site Specific Advisory Committees.

Zvi is also a Professor in the Department of History and the Department of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies at NYU's Faculty of Arts & Science, teaching courses on Asian history during and after the Mongol period and on Islam in the World. He studied Chinese history in Jerusalem, in China, and later at UCLA where he completed his PhD in early modern Chinese history. Zvi has served as Director of the History Department’s MA program in World History, as Acting Director of the Kevorkian Center for Near Eastern Studies, and as Chair of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies. Specializing in Chinese and Islamic History, Zvi’s research centers on the interaction between religions in world history and cultural exchanges across space and time. Prior to joining NYU in 2003, Dr. Ben-Dor Benite taught at Boston and Rutgers University.

Select Publications


  • Modern Middle Eastern Jewish Thought: Writings on Identity, Politics, and Culture, 1893–1958. Edited by Moshe Behar and Zvi Ben-Dor Benite. (Brandeis, 2013)
  • The Ten Lost Tribes: A World History (Oxford, 2009)
  • The Dao of Muhammad: A Cultural History of Muslims in Late Imperial China (Harvard, 2005)


  • “‘Western Gods Meet in the East’: Shapes and Contexts of the Muslim-Jesuit Dialogue in Early Modern China”(Cultural Dialogue in South Asia and Beyond: Narratives, Images and Community (16th-19th centuries), editors: Corinne Lefèvre and Ines G. Županov, 2011)
  • “Ricci et les « musulmans de Canton » : à propos du premier dialogue des jésuites avec l’Europe,” (Colloque Ricci 2010 Unesco Les éditions du Cerf, 2011)
  • “Modernity: The Sphinx and the Historian,” in AHR Forum: “Modernity and the Historian,” The American Historical Review Vol. 116, No. 3 (June 2011), pp. 638-652
  • “Religions and World History,” Oxford Handbook of World History, Ed. Jerry Bentley (Oxford University Press, 2011), pp. 210-228
  • “Follow the White Camel: Islam in China to 1800,” New Cambridge History of Islam, Vol. 3 (Cambridge University Press, 2010), pp. 409-426
  • “‘Nine Years in Egypt’: The Chinese at al-Azhar University,” Hagar, “‘Nine Years in Egypt’: The Chinese at al-Azhar University,” HAGAR, Studies in Culture, Polity and Identities Vol.8 (1) 2008: 105-128
  • “The Marrano Emperor: The Mysterious Bond between Zhu Yuanzhang and the Chinese Muslims,” in Sarah Schneewind, Long Live the Emperor!: Uses of the Ming Founder Across Six Centuries of East Asian History. Ming studies research series, no. 4. 2008. pp. 275-308


  • PhD, History
    University of California, Los Angeles, 2000

Research Interests

  • African Diaspora
  • Global History
  • Early Modern and Modern Chinese History
  • Asian and European Islam
  • Religion and World History
  • Middle Eastern History
  • History of Geography
  • Arab-Jewish and Mizrahi History