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.

 

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 436 The Land of Israel: Past and Present

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

 

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; Natural Resources 113)

    Syllabus

    This methods seminar explores the complexity of the interactions between Franks and Muslims in the Islamic Near East during the Crusader Period (ca. 1050-1300). At the same time, the course considers the field of history and the skills involved in its practice. Students will use the foundations of historical methodology—especially careful analysis of Arabic primary sources in translation and modern historiography—to uncover the motivations and personalities that animate this fascinating period in world history.

  • HIST 436 The Land of Israel: Past and Present (Fall 2021; MW 5:00-6:15; Clark A-203)

    Syllabus

    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, and the Bible for constructing a coherent history of ancient Canaan/Israel; competing conceptions of the Holy Land in the pre-modern Jewish, Christian, and Islamic traditions; and competing conceptions of the Holy Land in the context of the Arab-Israeli conflict (ca. 1900-present).

  • HIST 433 Muhammad and the Origins of Islam (Spring 2022; TR 3:30-4:45)

    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 492 Capstone Seminar: Travel & Pilgrimage to the Holy Land in Late Antiquity & the Middle Ages (Spring 2022; TR 12:00-2:50)

    This capstone seminar examines Jewish, Christian, and Muslim interactions in late antiquity and the middle ages, with a special emphasis on travel and pilgrimage to the Holy Land. 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 a relevant pilgrimage or travel narrative. During the last month of the seminar students will present their research findings to the seminar for critique and comment.

  • HIST 432 Sacred History in the Bible & the Qu’ran (Summer 2022)

    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.