Syndicated commentaries (Agence Global Syndicate)

 Wikipedia entry

 History of the World since 1500 (Columbia University YouTube)

History of the World to 1500 (Columbia University YouTube, for audiofiles go to

History of Iran to the Safavid Period (audiofiles available at

History of the Modern Middle East (audiofiles available at


Department of History

Columbia University

421 Fayerweather Hall

New York, NY  10027

(212) 854-1741; e-mail

Education and Training

Harvard University

BA 1962 in History (magna cum laude)

MA 1964 in Middle East Studies

PhD 1967 in History and Middle East Studies


Columbia University

Professor of History, 1978-

Associate Professor of History, 1976-78

Associate Chairman, Department of History, 1979-82, 1983-85

Director, Middle East Institute, 1984-1990, 1993-2000

Chairman, Department of Anthropology, 1988-1990

Chairman, Executive Committee of Arts and Sciences Faculty, 1998-99

University of California at Berkeley

Lecturer in Near Eastern Languages and Studies, 1973-75

Harvard University

Assistant Professor of History, 1969-73

Instructor in History, 1967-69

Fellowships and Honors

Phi Beta Kappa, 1962

NDFL Fellowships (for Arabic and Turkish), 1962-1965

Honorary Woodrow Wilson Fellowship, 1962

Woodrow Wilson Dissertation Fellowship, 1965-66

Fulbright-Hays Fellowship, 1965-66

Harvard Center for Middle East Studies Research Fellowship, 1971-72

Guggenheim Fellow, 1975-76

    Dexter Prize of the Society for the History of Technology for The Camel and the Wheel, 1977

American-Indian Commission Fellowship, 1990 (resigned)

Carnegie Scholar, 2009

Professional Service

Columbia University Press–Publication Committee 1979-85, 1986-1994

Committee Chair 1991-1994

Board of Trustees 1991-

Middle East Studies Association

Executive Secretary, 1977-81

Society for Iranian Studies

Member Board of Directors, 1967-68

Member Editorial Board of Iranian Studies, 1985-87

American Institute of Iranian Studies

Trustee at Large, 1977-82

Joint Committee on the Near and Middle East of the Social Science Research Council and American Council of Learned Societies, 1978-81

Joint Committee on the Comparative Study of Muslim Societies of the Social Science Research Council and American Council of Learned Societies, 1988-91

World History Pathfinder Project of The College Board, 1991-93

National Standards in World History committee of the National Center for the Study of History, 1992-93

Senior Academic Advisor, New York University Center for Dialogues: Islamic World – U.S. – The West, 2003-2010

International Advisory Board, Institute of Iranian Studies, St. Andrew’s University, 2009

Departmental academic review committees at the following universities: Indiana University, Georgetown University, University of Chicago, American University of Beirut, United Arab Emirates University, Bar Ilan University, Ben Gurion University, Hebrew University, Haifa University, Tel Aviv University


Encyclopedia of the Modern Middle East, co-editor, Macmillan 1996, 4v.

Columbia Encyclopedia, chief consultant on history for fifth edition

Encyclopedia of Asian History, Associate Editor for Iran and Central Asia

Iranian Studies, Editor, 1987-91


Scholarly Books

Cotton, Climate, and Camels in Early Islamic Iran: A Moment in World History, Columbia University Press, 2009

Hunters, Herders, and Hamburgers: The Past and Future of Human-Animal Relationships, Columbia University Press, 2005

The Case for Islamo-Christian Civilization, Columbia University Press, 2004; translations in Arabic, Italian, French, Greek,  Turkish

The Earth and Its Peoples: A Global History, co-author, Houghton Mifflin, 1997, 5ed 2009

The Columbia History of the Twentieth Century, editor, New York:  Columbia University Press, 1998 (translations into Chinese, Polish, and Croatian).

Islam:  The View from the Edge, Columbia University Press, 1993

Conversion to Islam in the Medieval Period:  An Essay in Quantitative History, Harvard University Press, 1979, translation in Persian

The Camel and the Wheel, Harvard University Press, 1975; Morningside Edition with new preface, Columbia University Press, 1990, translation in Arabic under contract

The Patricians of Nishapur:  A Study in Medieval Islamic Social History, Harvard University Press, 1972


Chakra, Bloomington: iUniverse, 2011 (forthcoming)

The One-Donkey Solution, Bloomington: iUniverse, 2011

The Sufi Fiddle, New York: St. Martin’s, 1991

The Gulf Scenario, New York: St. Martin’s, 1984

The Tomb of the Twelfth Imam, New York: Harper & Row, 1979

Kicked to Death by a Camel, New York: Harper & Row, 1973 (under pen-name Clarence J.-L. Jackson; nominated for Edgar Award in the category Best First Mystery)

Selected Scholarly Articles

“9/11: Landmark or Watershed?”  Social Science Research Council Essay Forum: “September 11 Ten Years After

“Conversion-based Partronage and Onomastic Evidence,” in Patronate and Patronage in Early and Classical Islam, eds. Monique Bernards and John Nawas, Leiden: E. J. Brill, 2005, pp. 246-62.

“Women and the Urban Religious Elite in the Pre-Mongol Period,” Guitty Nashat and Lois Beck, eds., Women in Iran from the Rise of Islam to 1800, Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2003.

“Islam’s Crisis of Authority,” Wilson Quarterly, (Winter, 2002), pp. 11-19.

“A Recruiting Tape of Osama bin Laden: Excerpts and Analyses,” Columbia International Affairs On-line (

“Theorizing Islam,” Social Science Research Council (, October, 2001

“Twenty Years of Islamic Politics,” The Middle East Journal, 53/2 (Spring 1999), pp. 189-200.

"Determinism and Pre-Industrial Technology," in Merritt Roe Smith and Leo Marx, Does Technology Drive History?  The Dilemma of Technological Determinism, Cambridge, Mass.:  MIT Press, 1994, pp. 201-215.

"Pottery Styles and Social Status in Medieval Khurasan,"  and "Annales and Archaeology," in A. Bernard Knapp, ed., Archaeology, Annales, and Ethnohistory, Cambridge:  Cambridge University Press, 1992, pp. 75-82, 131-134.

"Process and Status in Conversion and Continuity" and "Conversion Stories in Early Islam," in Michael Gervers and Ramzi Jibran Bikhazi, eds., Conversion and Continuity:  Indigenous Christian Communities in Islamic Lands Eighth to Eighteenth Centuries Papers in Mediaeval Studies 9, Toronto:  Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, 1990 pp. 1-12, 123-133.

"Medieval Arabic Tarsh :  A Forgotten Chapter in the History of Printing," Journal of the American Oriental Society, 107/3 (1987), pp. 427-38.

"The Age Structure of Medieval Islamic Education," Studia Islamia 57 (1983), pp. 105-117.

"Botr et Baranès:  hypotheses sur l'histoire des Berbères," Annales:  Économies, Sociétés, Civilisations (Jan.-Feb. 1981), pp. 104-116; response to critique by G. Fiaccadori (Mar.-Apr. 1983), pp. 475-6.

"First Names and Political Change in Modern Turkey," International Journal of Middle East Studies IX (1978), pp. 489-495.

"Local Politics in Eastern Iran under the Ghaznavids and Seljuks," Iranian Studies special issue entitled State and Society in Iran XI (1978), pp. 35-56.

"Naw Bahar and the Survival of Iranian Buddhism," Iran XIV (1976), pp. 140-145.

"Medieval Nishapur:  A Topographic and Demographic Reconstruction," Studia Iranica V (1976), pp. 67-89; partial Persian translation by Ali Anvari, "Bazshenasi va jam'iyatshenasi-ye Nishapur-e qurun-i vosta'i," Ayandeh VIII/8 (1341) 512-520.

"The Shaikh al-Islam and the Evolution of Islamic Society," Studia Islamica XXXV (1972), pp. 53-67.

"A Quantitative Approach to Medieval Muslim Biographical Dictionaries," Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient XIII (1970), pp. 195-211.  Arabic translation "Tariqa kamiyya li-dirasat mu'ajim at-tarajim al-islamiyya fi al-'usur al-wusta," Scientific Session 12, Islamic University of Medina, Saudi Arabia, 1404(1990).