Aviv Derri received her PhD in History and Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies from New York University (2021), where she specialized in the history of the Ottoman Empire and in the comparative study of empires in the modern era. She is interested in the social, political, and cultural history of capitalism in the Middle East from a global perspective. Based on her doctoral dissertation, her book project examines the rise of new financial markets and provincial public debt in nineteenth century Ottoman Damascus, foregrounding the role of tax-farmers, merchant families, and Jewish financiers of the hajj. This work explores local and inter-imperial conflicts and anxieties about political belonging and sovereignty, risk and uncertainty, and the boundaries of financial activity - reflected, most notably, in the distinction between interest and usury - in a period of European financial expansion and major development projects at home.
Aviv is currently a postdoctoral fellow at the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics and at the School of Historical Studies at Tel Aviv University. Starting in Fall 2022, she will hold a postdoctoral research fellowship at the Martin Buber Society of Fellows, Jerusalem.