Paul M. Cobb

Paul M. Cobb

Edmund J. and Louise W. Kahn Term Professor of Near Eastern Languages & Civilizations

840 Williams Hall

Paul M. Cobb is Edmund J. and Louise W. Kahn Term Professor of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations. He is a social and cultural historian of the pre-modern Islamic world. He has been teaching at Penn since 2008. His areas of interest include the history of memory, animal studies, Islamic relations with the West, and travel and exploration. He is, in particular, a recognized authority on the history of the medieval Crusades in their Islamic context. He is the author of numerous books and articles, including White Banners: Contention in ‘Abbasid Syria, 750-880 (SUNY Press, 2001); Usama ibn Munqidh: Warrior-Poet of the Age of Crusades (Oneworld, 2005); The Book of Contemplation: Islam and the Crusades, a translation of the “memoirs” and other works of Usama ibn Munqidh (Penguin Classics, 2008), and The Race for Paradise: An Islamic History of the Crusades (Oxford University Press, 2014). He is also the co-editor (with Wout van Bekkum) of Strategies of Medieval Communal Identity: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam (Peeters, 2003) and (with Antoine Borrut) of Umayyad Legacies: History and Memory from Syria to Spain (E. J. Brill, 2010). 

Courses Taught
  • The Making of the Middle East
  • Getting Crusaded
  • Age of Caliphs
  • Age of Sultans
  • Arabic Texts in Islamic History
  • Benjamin Franklin Seminar: The Arabian Nights 
  • Research Seminar: Aleppo
  • Proseminar: Islamic Studies