1. Christianity in Fifteenth-Century Iraq (under contract): This book pries apart the slippage between conflated definitions of Islamic history which, on the one hand, emphasize that Muslims engaged in non-religious activities (Hodgson’s “Islamicate”) while, on the other, ignoring the non-Muslims who formed a majority of society well into the medieval period and formed substantial minorities (and in some small areas, still majorities) into the modern period. Combining Christian with Muslim sources from fifteenth-century Iraq revealed an inescapably diverse society ruled by Muslims, a society characterized neither by harmonious convivencia nor ceaseless persecution, but in which high levels of violence functioned alongside systems of exchange across religious boundaries. The cultural developments of one Christian denomination, headquartered in Mosul, show both continuities and discontinuities with Muslim and Jewish ideas in areas of theology, ritual, hierarchy, and intra-communal history, allowing scholars to distinguish “Islamic” from “Middle Eastern” more broadly, and “Christian” from “European” more narrowly.
  2. Mosaics in Earthquake Country (working title, in research): The Islamic “Middle Periods” (c. 945-c. 1500) defined by Hodgson are characterized not only by political fragmentation, but also (pace Hodgson) by complex religious, linguistic, and ethnic diversity. At the beginning of this period, Muslims were still (pace Bulliet) a ruling minority throughout almost all of the Middle East, but by the end they had achieved demographic supermajority status. This book project explores the connection between these two phenomena, asking what role difference played in that society and culture, as well as what effect diversity had on governance, law, society, and religion (both Islamic and non-Islamic), while seeking to explain how and why Islamization happened when it did.


  1. Article on the early Ṣafavī Sufi order as depicted in Armenian sources from before 1501.
  2. Article on Ibn Baṭṭūṭa’s travelogue and medieval Islamicate cultural disunity.
  3. Article on a Muslim Türkmen ruler's Christian ecclesiastical policy in the mid-15th C.
  4. Article on a scribal code used in 19th C Mesopotamia called “tree letters.”
  5. Article on the urban religious topography of late Ottoman Mosul.

Digital History:

  1. Co-editor, The Syriac Gazetteer, an online Middle Eastern geography reference.
  2. A new project to record and make visible the range of languages containing sources relevant for various topics in medieval Middle Eastern history.