Professor

About

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.

 

I recently completed Muslim Sources of the Crusader Period: An Anthology (co-authored with Suleiman A. Mourad, Smith College). Written in greater Syria, northern Mesopotamia, and Egypt, these 60 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. As such, this anthology is an attempt to bring to light a disparate selection of sources that in our assessment introduces students of Crusades history to a more complex understanding of the Crusades and the interactions between Franks and Muslims – which ranged from animosity to amity – in the broader context of Islamic history. All translations are our own. Many of these sources are translated here into English for the first time.

 

I am also 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 431 Ancient Israel

HIST 433 Muhammad and the Origins of Islam

HIST 436 The Land of Israel: Past and Present

HIST 492 Capstone Seminar: Travel & Pilgrimage to the Holy Land in Late Antiquity & Middle Ages

 

Courses I teach only occasionally:

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

HIST 435 Jihad and Reform in Islamic History

HIST 438 The Modern Middle East

HIST 532 Reading Seminar: Middle East

 

Publications

Muslim Sources of the Crusader Period: An Anthology (co-authored with Suleiman A. Mourad). Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing, 2021 (in press).

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 115 The Islamic World: Late Antiquity to 1500 (Fall 2020; MW 3:00-4:15; Natural Resources 140)

    Syllabus

    This course is an introductory survey of the history of the Islamic world from late antiquity to 1500. As such, it meets the AUCC 3D Historical Perspectives Requirement. Major themes addressed in the course include: 1) the development of the early Islamic empire, its origins in seventh-century Arabia, and its rapid conquest of the Near East and much of Mediterranean world by the mid-eighth century; 2) the role of the ideology of jihad in the military history of the pre-modern Islamic empires and states spanning from Spain in the west to India and southeast Asia in the east; and 3) the complex and interconnected multi-ethnic and multi-religious societies in the pre-modern Islamic Near East, North Africa, Europe, and Asia.

  • HIST 432 Sacred History in the Bible and the Qur’an (Fall 2020; MW 5:00-6:15; Clark A-203)

    Syllabus

    This course examines competing conceptions of sacred history in the Jewish, Christian, and Islamic traditions. We will examine these issues through a comparative analysis of biblical figures that all three traditions venerate. We will also examine competing conceptions of Jesus in Christianity and Islam. In addition to relevant excerpts from the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, New Testament, and Qur’an, students will be expected to analyze classical Jewish, Christian, and Islamic exegesis of these texts, for it is only through this interpretive literature that we can understand the historical development of traditional Jewish, Christian, and Islamic conceptions of sacred history.

  • HIST 433 Muhammad and the Origins of Islam (Spring 2021; TR 3:30-4:45; Clark C-358)

    Syllabus

    This course examines the historical context of the emergence of Islam, its origins in seventh-century Arabia, and the rapid Islamic imperial conquests of the Near East and much of the Mediterranean world by the mid-eighth century. We will examine important themes in the formation of the classical Islamic religious, legal, and historiographical traditions. Since the majority of the population resisted conversion to Islam during this period, we will also examine how Jewish, Christian, and Zoroastrian subjects of the new Islamic empire were able to retain their distinctive religious identities while at the same time accommodating themselves to and interacting with the new Islamic imperial order in areas of politics, society, law, religion, burial practices, warfare, etc.

  • HIST 438 Modern Middle East (Spring 2021; TR 5:30-6:45; Behavioral Sciences A-101)

    Syllabus

    This course examines major historical developments in the Middle East since 1800. Important themes, issues, events, etc. that we will examine include: political, military, and religious reform movements in the Ottoman Empire and Qajar Iran during the 19th and early-20th centuries; Ottoman and Qajar relations with each other and with the major the European imperial powers; World War I and the demise of the Ottoman Empire and Qajar Iran; ethnic, religious, and territorial nationalist movements in the Middle East down to the 1960s; the 1967 Six Day War and the making of the modern Middle East; Women and Islam; the Muslim Brotherhood and Sunni Islamism; the Iranian Revolution and Shiite Islamism.