Dr. Matthew Gordon

Matthew Gordon

Professor of History

Philip R. Shriver Professor of History: Middle East, Islamic and World History


246 Upham Hall
Office hours: 


  • PhD 1993, Columbia University
  • MA, Columbia University
  • BA, Drew University

Teaching and Research Interests

  • Islamic and Middle East history
  • Pre-modern world history

Courses Recently Taught 

  • HST 197 World History to 1500
  • HST 206 Introduction to Historical Inquiry
  • HST 241 Introduction to Islamic History
  • HST 242 History of the Modern Middle East
  • HST 670 Graduate Colloquium: Empire and Ceremony in World History

Selected Publications

  • The Works of Ibn Wādih al-Ya’qūbī: An English Translation, contributor and editor (with Chase F. Robinson, Everett K. Rowson and Michael Fishbein), Brill, 2018.
  • Concubines and Courtesans: Women and Slavery in Islamic History, co-editor (with Kathryn A. Hain) and contributor, Oxford University Press, 2017.
  • "Ahmad ibn Tulun and the Politics of Deference" in Islamic Cultures, Islamic Contexts: Essays in Honor of Professor Patricia Crone, Behnam Sadeghi, et.al., eds., Brill Publishing, 2015.
  • "Ibn Tulun, al-Qata'i and the Legacy of Samarra" in Hundert Jahre Grabungen in Samarra (Beitrage zur Islamischen Kunst und Archaologie, Bd. 4).  Julia Gonnella, ed.  Wiesbaden: Dr. Ludwig Reichert Verlag, 2014
  • "Preliminary Remarks on Slaves and Slave Labor in the Third/Ninth Century Abbasid Empire" in Laura Culbertson, ed., Slaves and Households in the Near East (Oriental Institute Seminars, no. 7).  The University of Chicago:  The Oriental Institute, 2011:  71-84.
  • "Yearning and Disquiet: al-Jahiz and the Risalat al-qiyan" in Arnim Heinemann et.al., eds., Al-Jahiz: A Muslim Humanist for our Time (Beiruter Texte und Studien, 119), Wurzburg: Ergon-Verlag, 2009:  253-268.

Selected Grants and Awards 

President, Middle East Medievalists (2012-2015).

Fellowship, National Humanities Center (Research Triangle Park, North Carolina), 2011-2012.  To support year-long research project on slavery and social mobility in the medieval Islamic Near East.

The National Endowment for the Humanities, multi-year Collaborative Research Grant, 2003-2008.  To support the Ya'qubi Translation Project, a collaborative project to produce translation of al Ya'qubi's three extant works.  Served as co-editor and translator of the project.

Work in Progress 

The Works of Ibn Wadih al-Ya`qubi, An English Translation (Brill, 2018), a three-volume work that brought together eleven scholars in Arabic, Islamic and Middle Eastern studies

Concubines and Courtesans: Women and Slavery in Islamic History (Oxford University Press, 2018) contains essays by sixteen colleagues in these same fields.

Monograph.  Ahmad ibn Tulun.  A draft manuscript is presently under review for the Makers of Islamic Civilization series (Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies, published by I. B. Tauris Publishers, London).

Edited Volume.  Tentatively entitled Women, Slavery and Social Mobility across the Medieval Islamic World, co-edited with Kathryn Hain (University of Utah).  We have solicited 16 papers, organized a panel of papers in conjunction with the volume, and drafted a proposal for publishers.

Edition and translation.  The Works of al-Ya'qubi.  A collaborative project of ten scholars of Arabic and Islamic studies to translate the works of the late third/ninth century historian and geographer al-Ya'qubi.  Co-editors:  Everett Rowson (New York University), Chase Robinson (Graduate Center, CUNY), and Michael Fishbein (UCLA).