Campus Box 1121
I am interested in all humanist disciplines, but my primary research specialty has been the history of “medieval Middle East,” in particular political practice and thought, historiography, messianic beliefs and movements, and cross-cultural/trans-regional connections and encounters. In my work on “Islamic” political thought, I highlight the historical context in which political ideologies emerged and articulated to argue against normative, essentialist, and Orientalist “exoticization” of a vibrant and dynamic tradition of political thought in Middle Eastern history. In my work on messianism I examine the relationship between rulers and religion in order to understand political action. More specifically, I attempt to understand the impact of messianic and apocalyptic expectations on political and institutional changes in early Abbasid history. By drawing on historiographical sources as well as records of Muslim and non-Muslim apocalyptic prophecies circulating among the general public and educated elites alike, my book, Messianic Beliefs and Imperial Politics in Medieval Islam, illustrates the pertinence of messianic beliefs to caliphal politics and the responsiveness of the caliphs to widespread concerns. I am currently working on two large projects: the caliphate as empire, in which I examine the caliphate as a form of rule and form of authority, and the idea of world history in medieval Islamic historiography.
- Ph.D. The University of Chicago, Department of History, Chicago, IL. June, 2002.
- ABD, Marmara University, Institute for Turkish Studies, Istanbul, Turkey. Medieval History, 1994.
- M.A., University of Jordan, Amman, Jordan. 1990.
- B.A., Istanbul University, Istanbul, Turkey. History Major, 1985.
- Messianic Beliefs and Imperial Politics in Medieval Islam: The Abbasid Caliphate in the Early Ninth Century (Columbia, SC: The University of South Carolina Press, 2009).
- Tatawwur al-Fikr al-Siyasi ‘inda Ahl al-Sunna: Fatrat al-Takwin [The Development of Sunni Political Thought: The Formative Period] (Amman: Dar al-Bashir, 1993). Reviewed in Usur al-Wusta: The Bulletin of Middle East Medievalists, 10/1 (1998).
Articles In Journals
- “Translation as Self-Consciousness: The Abbasid Translation Movement, Ancient Sciences, and Antediluvian Wisdom (ca. 750-850),” Journal of World History 20/4 (2009), pp. 523-557.
- “Ancient Imperial Heritage and Islamic Universal Historiography: Al-Dinawari’s Secular Perspective,” Journal of Global History 2.2 (2007), pp. 135-155.
- “Allahın Halifesi ve Dünyanın Kadısı: Bir Dünya Imparatorluğu Olarak Hilafet,” [God’s Caliph and World’s Judge: The Caliphate as a World Empire,] Divan: Disiplinlerarası Çalışmalar Dergisi, 22 (2007), pp. 133-146.
- “Meta Narratives: Political Legitimacy, Fate, and Piety in the Narratives of the Abbasid Civil War,” Turkish Journal of Islamic Studies 10 (2005), pp. 65-79.
- “Between Nationalism and the Social Sciences: A History of Modern Scholarship on the Abbasid Civil War and the Reign of al-Ma’mun,” Medieval Encounters, 8 (2002), pp. 56-78.
Articles In Edited Volumes
“Political Anarchism, Dissent, and Marginal Groups in the Early Ninth Century: The Ṣūfīs of the Muʿtazila Revisited,” The Lineaments of Islam: studies in Honor of Fred McGraw Donner, Paul Cobb, ed. (Leiden: Brill, 2012), pp. 61-84.
- “Justification of Political Authority in Medieval Sunni Thought,” Islam, the State, and Political Authority: Medieval Issues and Modern Concerns, Asma Afsaruddin, ed. (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011).
Articles In Conference Proceedings
- “Birlikte Yaşamanın Koşulları: Kültür Mirası ve Modernite ile İlgili Sorunlar,” [Pre-Conditions of Coexistence: Problems Involving Cultural Heritage and Modernity,] ed. Havva Lakutoğlu, Türkiyede Birlikte Yaşama Kültürü ve Mardin Őrneği (İstanbul: Mardin Valiliği, 2010), pp. 45-55.
- “Ortaçağ Evrensel İslam Tarihçiliği ve Katip Çelebi: Bir Őn İnceleme,” [Medieval Islamic Universal Historiography and Katip Çelebi: A Preliminary Investigation,] Vefatının 350. Yılında Katip Çelebi (Istanbul: Istanbul Büyükşehir Belediyesi, 2009), pp. 169-176.
- “Bir Kurgu Olarak Klasik İslam Siyaset Düşüncesi: Dinî ve Rasyonel Ahlâk Hakkındaki Ana Anlatıya Alternatif Yaklaşımlar,” [Classical Islamic Political Thought as a Construction: Alternative Approaches to the Master Narrative on Religious and Rational Morality], in Sami Erdem and M. Cuneyt Kaya, eds., İslam ve Klasik (İstanbul: Klasik Yayınları, 2008), pp. 133-146.
Middle East to 1250 - Encounters: East and West - Modern Middle East - Islam and Modernity - Advance Studies in Medieval Islamic History - Islamic Civilization - Introduction to Islam - Medieval Islamic Political Thought – Literatures of the Islamic Middle East - Ottoman History - Islam and the Mediterranean - World History - Modern Standard Arabic (for beginners and advanced students) - Advanced reading in Arabic - A City of Peace: Baghdad in Medieval Times - Caliphate in Theory and Practice.