Department of History

  • Portrait (head shot photo)
  • Toby C. Jones
  • Associate Professor of History; and Director, Global and Comparative History Master's Degree Program
  • Degree: Ph.D., Stanford University, 2006
  • Additional Degree(s): M.A., Auburn University, 1998 B.A., Auburn University, 1994
  • Rutgers : At Rutgers since 2007
  • Specialty: Modern Middle East: History of Environment and Technology
  • Email:
  • Office: 116 Van Dyck Hall
  • Phone: 848-932-8511


Toby C. Jones is associate professor of history at Rutgers University, New Brunswick. He teaches courses on global environmental history, energy, and the modern Middle East. During 2008-2009 he was a fellow at Princeton University's Oil, Energy, and the Middle East project. From 2004 to early 2006 Jones worked as the Persian Gulf political analyst for the International Crisis Group. His research interests focus on the environment, energy, and the history of science and technology. He is the author of Desert Kingdom: How Oil and Water Forged Modern Saudi Arabia (Harvard University Press, 2010), Running Dry: Essays on Energy, Water and Environmental Crisis (Rutgers University Press, 2015), and is currently working America's Oil Wars (under contract at Harvard University Press). He has written for the International Journal of Middle East Studies, Journal of American History, Middle East Report, Raritan Quarterly Review, The Nation, The Atlantic, the London Review of Books, the New York Times, and elsewhere. In 2015 Jones was recognized as a Rutgers Chancellor’s Scholar for distinguished scholarship.


  • 508:205 Modern Middle East
  • 508:300 Arab-Israeli Conflict
  • 508:392 Historical Studies: An Environmental History of the Middle East
  • 506:401 Seminar: Oil and Empire in the Middle East
  • 506:401 Seminar: Diplomacy and Politics in the Modern Middle East


  • Running Dry: Essays on Energy, Water, and Environmental Crisis (Rutgers University Press, 2015)
  • "America, Oil, and War in the Middle East," Journal of American History (2012) 99 (1): 208-218.
  • Desert Kingdom: How Oil and Water Forged Modern Saudi Arabia (Harvard University Press, 2010).
  • "Crude Ecology: Technology and the Politics of Dissent in Saudi Arabia," forthcoming in Gabrielle Hecht, ed., The Technopolitical Shape of Cold War Geographies, (MIT Press).
  • “Embattled in Arabia: Shi‘is and the Politics of Confrontation in Saudi Arabia,” Occasional Paper Series, Shi‘a Militancy Program, Combating Terrorism Center at West Point, June 3, 2009.
  • “Saudi Arabia’s Silent Spring,” Foreign Policy online magazine, February 2009.
  • “Saudi Arabia’s Not so New Anti-Shi‘ism,” Middle East Report, 242, Spring 2007, pp 29-32.
  • “Rebellion on the Saudi Periphery: Modernity, Marginalization and the Shi’a Uprising of 1979,” International Journal of Middle East Studies. 38:2. May (2006), 213-233.
  • “Shifting Sands: The Future of U.S.-Saudi Relations,” Foreign Affairs, Volume 85, Number 2, March/April, 2006.
  • “The Iraq Effect in Saudi Arabia.” Middle East Report. 237. Winter 2005, pp 20-25.
  • “The Clerics, the Sahwa and the Saudi State.” Strategic Insights. Volume IV, Issue 3, March 2005.
  • “Violence and the Illusion of Reform in Saudi Arabia.” Middle East Report Online. November 13, 2003.
  • “Seeking a ‘Social Contract’ for Saudi Arabia.” Middle East Report, 228, Fall 2003, pp 42-48.
  • Bahrain’s Sectarian Challenge. International Crisis Group Middle East/North Africa Report N°40. May 6, 2005.
  • The Shiite Question in Saudi Arabia. International Crisis Group Middle East/North Africa Report N°45. September 19, 2005.


  • Mellon Post-Doctoral Fellowship, Swarthmore College
  • Fulbright-Hays to Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Jordan, 2003-2003


  • American Historical Association
  • Society for History of Technology
  • Middle Eastern Studies Association
  • Gulf/2000 Project

Upcoming Events

Tue Sep 21 @11:00AM - 01:00PM
Jody Madeira: RCHA Seminar
Thu Sep 23 @12:00PM - 01:30PM
Slavery + Freedom Studies Working Group: A Virtual Book Talk w/ Jessica Marie Johnson
Tue Sep 28 @11:00AM - 01:00PM
Elaine LaFay: RCHA Seminar
Fri Oct 01 @ 9:30AM - 02:00PM
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Tue Oct 05 @11:00AM - 01:00PM
Jennifer Trowbridge: RCHA Seminar
Wed Oct 06 @10:00AM - 12:00PM
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