The Medieval Islamicate World

During the “medieval” period, the Islamicate world encompassed a great arc stretching from al-Andalus to China. Within this arc, Muslims, Jews, and Christians, along with other diverse cultures and belief systems, established sophisticated and cosmopolitan communities, creating an environment that fostered intellectual, political, and social interaction and cultural exchanges. Such connections were key to the vibrancy, achievements, and innovations of this period, resulting in a social reality that was as complex as it was subtle.

This series seeks to explore the intersections among the cultures that comprised the medieval Islamicate world, as well as the impact of specific communities, texts, and events on the development of Islamicate cultures. By considering these relationships and exchanges, we seek to trace the connections that gave rise to the variety and sophistication so characteristic of this era.

Geographical Scope

From al-Andalus, across the Mediterranean and Middle East, to the Punjab and beyond into China and Mongolia

Chronological Scope

7th-15th centuries CE (1st-9th centuries AH)

Topics and themes considered by the series

Identity, Religion, and Law; Dress and Social Discourse; Gender and Social Roles; Trade and Cultural Exchange; Art and Architecture; Patrons, Clients, and Slaves; Social Networks and hierarchies; Spaces and Borders; European Encounters with the Islamicate world; Islamicate encounters with the Occidental world; Material cultures; Music, Music Theory and Philosophies of Music; Literature and Poetry; Translation and Linguistics; Sexualities.


al-Andalus; medieval Islam; cultural exchange; Middle Eastern history – 7th-15th centuries

Titles Published

Available as hardback and PDF ebook and, in some cases, as Open Access and in paperback. Click on heading above for current list.

Editorial Contact

Series Editors

Pernilla Myrne

My dissertation, Narrative, Gender and Authority in ʿAbbāsid Literature on Women, examines narrative structures in biographies on women from the ninth and tenth centuries. It deals with constructions of hierarchy and representation of women’s agency, and how they relate to genre in early Arabic literature.

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Timothy May

Dr. Timothy May is a specialist in the Mongol Empire and nomadic empires in general. He is the author and co-author of four books and numerous other publications. He is currently Associate Dean of the College of Arts & Letters and writing a history of the Mongol Empire.

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Uriel Simonsohn

I am a historian of religions and societies. My research focuses on the three monotheistic religions in the Near East and Mediterranean Basin from Late Antiquity to the High Middle Ages. In my book A Common Justice (2011), which deals with the lives of Rabbanite Jews and Eastern Christians in the early Islamic period, I attempt to present a more nuanced and untidy picture of what has often been depicted in modern scholarship as a social setting neatly carved along religious lines. The legal-anthropological paradigm of “legal pluralism” allows me to interpret the exhortations of Rabbanite and ecclesiastical leaders against extra-confessional litigation in the context of highly complex arrangements of social commitments. These commitments, I argue, went far beyond the confinements of religious communities.
At present I continue to explore interfaith encounters through two main research projects, one concerning the process of conversion to Islam in the early Islamic period, and the other focused on the phenomenon of religiously-mixed families. In both pursuits I seek to cast light on the passage of peoples and ideas from one religious circle to another while describing the social context that facilitated this passage.
In the context of these persuits, I am a member of the I Core Center for the Study of Conversion and Inter-Religious Encounters, based at Ben Gurion University.USIMONSOHN@GMAIL.COM

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Andrew Peacock

Medieval and early modern Middle Eastern and Islamic history, especially the history of Iran, Anatolia, the Caucasus and Central Asia up to the seventeenth century; Arabic and Persian historiography and manuscripts; history of the Indian Ocean region.

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