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 ancient, medieval, and modern Middle East history. My research is focused on the history and historiography of the Islamic Near East in the middle ages.

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 (semester last taught):

HIST 115 The Islamic World: Late Antiquity to 1500 (F 2022)

HIST 201 Approaches to History: The Islamic Near East during the Crusader Period (S 2023)

HIST 432 Sacred History in the Bible and the Qur'an (F 2022)

HIST 433 Muhammad and the Origins of Islam (S 2021)

HIST 435 Jihad in Islamic History (S 2022)

HIST 436 The Holy Land: Ancient to Modern (F 2021)

HIST 438 The Modern Middle East (S 2021)

HIST 492 Capstone: Christianity in the Near East to 1000 (S 2023)

Publications

Muslim Sources of the Crusader Period: An Anthology (edited and translated with Suleiman A. Mourad). Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing, 2021. Click here for the New Books Network podcast in which Suleiman and I discuss the anthology.

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. (Paperback: Hackett Publishing, 2008; Arabic Translation: al-ʿAlim al-Islami fi al-ʿUsur al-Wusta. 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. (Reissued: Berlin: Gerlach Press, 2021.)

Courses

  • HIST 201 Approaches to History: The Islamic Near East during the Crusader Period (Spring 2023; TR 12:30-1:45)

    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 201 Approaches to History satisfies the AUCC 3D Historical Perspectives requirement.

  • HIST 432 Sacred History in the Bible and the Qur’an (Fall 2022; MWF 1:00-1:50; also online)

    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 Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. In addition to relevant excerpts from the Tanakh/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.

    This course is also offered online.
    www.online.colostate.edu/courses/credit/

  • HIST 433 Muhammad and the Origins of Islam (Spring 2021)

    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 down to the early tenth century. 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 436 The Holy Land: Ancient to Modern (Fall 2021)

    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 492 Capstone Seminar: Christianity in the Near East to 1000 (Spring 2023; T 9:00-11:50)

    This seminar explores the first millennium of Christian history and thought, with a special emphasis on Christianity in the Near East. We will read a variety of monographs and primary sources on the following topics: Roman critiques of Christianity; key church fathers who shaped early Christian thought; Mary in early Christian faith and devotion; Egeria’s account of her pilgrimage to the Holy Land in the 380s; desert monasticism; and Christian thought and practice after the three ancient patriarchates (Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem) were lost to the Islamic conquests in the 630s and 640s. Students will write analytical essays on the monographs and primary sources we will read for the seminar as well as a 15-20-page research paper based on relevant primary sources from the period. During the last month of the seminar students will present their research findings to the seminar for critique and comment.