Professor

About

  • Role:

    Faculty
  • Position:

    • Professor
  • Concentration:

    • Middle East
  • Department:

    • History
  • Education:

    • PhD, University of Wisconsin

Biography

 

I joined the Department of History at Colorado State University in 1996. My teaching repertoire includes courses on pre-modern and modern Middle East history. My research is focused on the history and historiography of the Islamic Near East in the middle ages.

 

My most recent publication (edited and translated with Suleiman A. Mourad) is Muslim Sources of the Crusader Period: An Anthology (Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing, 2021). Written in greater Syria, northern Mesopotamia, and Egypt, these Arabic sources provide eyewitness and contemporary historical accounts of what unfolded in the eastern Mediterranean and the Near East between the eleventh and fourteenth centuries. We have prioritized representative examples of the many disparate types of Muslim sources that we believe provide a more complete picture of the Islamic Near East in the Crusader period, and the interactions between Franks and Muslims (which ranged from animosity to amity) in the broader context of Islamic history. It is our hope that colleagues who teach courses on the Crusades as well as courses on the pre-modern Islamic Near East will find this anthology useful in their own teaching. We equally hope that this anthology will be useful to researchers who seek a better understanding of the contemporary Islamic perspectives on the Crusades and the period in general, and who might encounter for the first time some of the sources that we included in the anthology. All translations are our own. Many of these sources are translated here into English for the first time. Click here for the New Books Network podcast in which Suleiman and I discuss the anthology.

 

I am the director of the Religious Studies Interdisciplinary Minor. The Minor encompasses the major religious traditions of humankind. It enables students to integrate a field of special interest from offerings in religious studies and related areas. Students can study religion as viewed by different disciplines; e.g., philosophy, anthropology, history, liberal arts, music, sociology, and psychology. In addition, the program encourages students to view religious phenomena in their cultural context through the media of music and the arts.

 

Courses I teach regularly:

HIST 115 The Islamic World: Late Antiquity to 1500

HIST 201 Approaches to History: The Islamic Near East during the Crusader Period

HIST 432 Sacred History in the Bible and the Qur'an

HIST 433 Muhammad and the Origins of Islam

HIST 435 Jihad in Islamic History

HIST 436 The Holy Land: Ancient to Modern

HIST 492 Capstone: Travel & Pilgrimage to the Holy Land from Late Antiquity to Mark Twain

 

Publications

Muslim Sources of the Crusader Period: An Anthology (edited and translated with Suleiman A. Mourad). Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing, 2021.

The Intensification and Reorientation of Sunni Jihad Ideology in the Crusader Period: Ibn ‘Asakir of Damascus (1105–1176) and His Age; with an edition and translation of Ibn ‘Asakir’s The Forty Hadiths for Inciting Jihad (co-authored with Suleiman A. Mourad). Leiden: Brill, 2013. (Issued in paperback in 2015.)

Historical Dimensions of Islam: Pre-Modern and Modern Periods--Essays in Honor of R. Stephen Humphreys (co-edited with Jon Armajani). Princeton: Darwin Press, 2009.

Daily Life in the Medieval Islamic World. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2005 (Issued in paperback by Hackett Publishing, 2008; translated and published in Arabic by the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage, Kalima, 2012.)

Ibn ‘Asakir and Early Islamic History (ed.). Studies in Late Antiquity and Early Islam, no. 20. Princeton: Darwin Press, 2001.

Courses

  • HIST 201 Approaches to History: The Islamic Near East during the Crusader Period (Fall 2021; MW 3:00-4:15)

    This seminar examines approaches to history and the skills involved in its practice. Students will use the foundations of historical methodology (especially careful analysis of primary sources and modern historiography) to explore the complex interactions between Muslims and Franks in the Islamic Near East during the Crusader period. In the process, students will gain a greater understanding of some of the personalities and motivations that animate this fascinating period in world history.

  • HIST 436 The Holy Land: Ancient to Modern (Fall 2021; MW 5:00-6:15)

    Some history courses focus on a broad region over decades, even centuries. This course examines the history of a very small and contested region over a span of more than 3,000 years. Issues we will investigate include: the importance of physical geography, material culture, the Bible, and other ancient texts for understanding the history of ancient Canaan (biblical Israel & Judah) in the context of the ancient Near East; competing conceptions of the Holy Land in the Jewish (Eretz HaKodesh), Christian (Terra Sancta), and Islamic (al-Ard al-Muqaddasa) traditions; and competing conceptions of the Holy Land in the context of the modern Middle East.

  • HIST 435 Jihad in Islamic History (Spring 2022; TR 12:30-1:45)

    Competing conceptions of the ideology of “jihad in the path of God” in classical and modern Islamic thought and practice. Warfare and military conquest? An interior spiritual struggle to be a better person? Both? Something else? This course examines how Muslims have answered these pressing existential questions in the context of the early Islamic imperial conquests, the Crusader period, the early modern Islamic empires, 19th- and 20th-century jihadist movements, and the post-9/11 world.

  • HIST 492 Capstone: Travel & Pilgrimage to the Holy Land from Late Antiquity to Mark Twain (Spring 2022; T 9:00-11:50)

    This capstone seminar examines Jewish, Christian, and Muslim travel and pilgrimage to the Holy Land from late antiquity to the nineteenth century. Students will write analytical essays on the monographs, articles, and primary sources we will read for the seminar as well as a 15-20-page research paper based on a relevant travel or pilgrimage narrative. During the final weeks of the seminar students will present their research findings to the seminar for peer critique and comment.