"Making Tools for Transmission: Mamluk and Ottoman Cairo's Papermakers, Copyists, and Booksellers," Eurasian Studies 15(2), (2017): 304-319.

A growing body of scholarship regarding the nature of book production and ownership has greatly aided in advancing understandings of the intellectual and cultural history of the Middle East. The majority of these studies, however, focuses on the technical and art  historical aspects of book production. This article seeks to take such scholarship a step further and explore the nature of the actual places where books were obtained in Mamluk and Ottoman Cairo. Using chronicles and annalistic sources, it will show that the traditionally
understood paper markets had a far more extensive role in book production. Furthermore, the article will show that multiple centers in medieval Cairo were engaged in various tasks related to the creation of texts. A discussion of the extant corpus of secondary literature will be offered on the basis of these conclusions.

Click on the image below to link to the complete article.

With Gregory Williams, "In Search of Sibākh: Digging Up Egypt from Antiquity to the Present Day," Journal of Islamic Archeology 3(1), (2016): 89-108.

Excavation and survey reports from Egypt make regular reference to sabakhīn digging and its disruption of the archaeological site’s stratigraphy. This search for agricultural fertilizer, and the resulting destruction of stratified contexts, was commonplace throughout Egypt in the 19th and 20th centuries. The appreciation, however, of the value of salt- and nitrogen-rich sediments often found in ancient ruins is specifically attested in medieval manuals that address issues of agricultural soil quality in Egypt. The exploitation of ruins has likely been a long, ongoing process in Egypt’s history, much to the detriment of studying the medieval period from an archaeological perspective. Particularly disturbed, in many cases, are the most readily available layers at or near the surface, which contain evidence of Egypt’s more recent past. In light of this history of disruption and the interpretation of sibākh in archaeological contexts, our view of late antique and medieval occupation in Egypt should be reconsidered, or perhaps, reimagined.

Click on the image below to link to the complete article.


"Understanding the Transmission of Intangible Heritage: DFG/ANR Dyntran Project: Its Findings and Implications," Cultural Heritage Cluster Kick-Off COSIMENA: Clusters of Scientific Innovation in the Middle East and North Africa, DAAD - Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst, Cairo, 9 May 2018.

"Understanding Merchants in Ottoman Cairo: A Review," DYNTRAN Working Papers, nº 17, October 2016,

"Egypt's Ottoman Court Records: Towards an Understanding of Economic and Social Life in Ottoman Cairo," (presentation, Institutskolloquium, Centrum für Nah- und Mittelost-Studien, Philipps-Universität Marburg, 2 December 2015). 

"Jihad and the Concept of War in Islam: The View of Some Muslim Jurists", (presentation, Prof. Leonor Fernandes's Seminar: The Story of Jihad: War and Peace in Islam, The American University in Cairo, 11 March 2015).

"The Status and Position of Coptic Christians in Medieval and Early Modern Egypt", (presentation, Prof. Leonor Fernandes's course: Non-Muslim Communities in the Middle East, 10 April 2013).

"The Medieval Arab Book Trade: Review of Current Studies and Further Questions", (presentation, Prof. Leonor Fernandes's course: Trade and Diplomacy in the Muslim World (900-1800), The American University in Cairo, 13 May 2012). 


Here you can find the syllabus for my "Survey of Arab History" class. This class was taught in multiple sections during the Spring 2016, Fall 2017, and Spring 2018 semesters. Below is a copy of the most recent version of the syllabus.

To download a copy of the syllabus in PDF form, click on the image below.