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 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 432 Sacred History in the Bible and the Qur'an

HIST 433 Muhammad and the Origins of Islam

HIST 435 Jihad and Reform in Islamic History

HIST 436 The Land of Israel: Past and Present

HIST 438 The Modern Middle East

 

Courses I teach only occasionally:

HIST 201 Seminar: Approaches to History

HIST 431 Ancient Israel

HIST 492 Capstone Seminar

HIST 532 Reading Seminar: Middle East

Publications

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 432 Sacred History in the Bible and the Qur’an (Fall 2019; TR 8:00-9:15; Stadium 1214)

    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 and Muhammad 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 201 Seminar: Approaches to History–The Crusades (Fall 2019; TR 9:30-10:45; Stadium 1214)

    Syllabus

    This seminar explores issues of religion, politics, warfare, and inter-communal relations in Western Europe, Byzantium, and the Near East, c. 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 primary sources (Frankish, Byzantine, Muslim, Jewish) and modern historiography—to uncover the motivations and personalities that animate this fascinating period in world history.

  • HIST 435 Jihad and Reform in Islamic History (Spring 2020; MW 3:00-4:15; Eddy 100)

    How can we account for the persistence of the ideology of jihad in Islamic thought and practice? Not surprisingly, modern Islamic militants, apologists, reformers, etc. disagree over the meaning of the term “jihad” itself. Does it require violence and military conquest? Is it merely an interior spiritual struggle to be a better person? Is it both? Is it something else? This course examines how Muslims have answered these pressing existential questions in the context of the early Islamic imperial conquests, the Crusades, the modern Middle East, and the post-9/11 world.

  • HIST 436 The Land of Israel: Past & Present (Spring 2020; MW 5:00-6:15; Eddy 100)

    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).