The Middle East
Toby Jones, Associate Professor
Ph.D, Stanford University
RESEARCH INTERESTS: Modern Middle East, Political Islam, Oil and Geopolitics.
Toby Jones is an associate professor of history at Rutgers University. He has lived and worked extensively in the Middle East, including several years in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. During 2008-2009 he was a fellow at Princeton University's Oil, Energy, and the Middle East project. From 2004 to early 2006 Jones worked as the Persian Gulf political analyst for the International Crisis Group. His research interests focus on the environment, energy, and the history of science and technology. He is the author of Desert Kingdom: How Oil and Water Forged Modern Saudi Arabia (Harvard University Press, 2010) and is currently working on two new books, America's Oil Wars (under contract at Harvard University Press) and Running Dry: Essays on Environmental Crisis (under contract with Rutgers University Press). He has written for the International Journal of Middle East Studies, Journal of American History, Middle East Report, Raritan Quarterly Review, The Nation, The Atlantic, the London Review of Books, the New York Times, and elsewhere. Jones is a member of the Editorial Committee at Middle East Report and Director of Rutgers' Center for Middle Eastern Studies.
Tarek Kahlaoui, Assistant Professor
Ph.D, University of Pennsylvania
RESEARCH INTERESTS: Islamic History, Art, Early Modern Mediterranean and North Africa
Tarek Kahlaoui completed a dissertation on "The depiction of the Mediterranean in Islamic cartography (11th -16th centuries): The images of the Mediterranean from the bureaucrats to the sea captains," where he emphasized the pre-modern visual sources, notably cartography, representing the Mediterranean, which were usually marginalized in favor of the textual sources. The dissertation used a largely unstudied list of cartographic samples along geographic writings made within the Islamic world between the 11th and the 16th centuries. He is also working on the publication of the "Jerba Studies" a survey and archeological project that began in the Tunisian island of Jerba since the mid 1990s and which is in the process of publication in two volumes in the Journal of Roman Archeology. He worked notably on the archival sources and rural landscape of the medieval and early modern history of the island. He took part in various excavations in Islamic and ancient sites in Tunisia. He worked also on Ottoman numismatics, which was the topic of his master thesis and a recent article in the publication of the collection of the Tunisian Central Bank. Tarek is currently researching the collections of the Islamic manuscripts in North Africa as part of an ongoing research on early Islamic codicology and paleography
Stephen Reinert, Associate Professor
Ph.D, University of California-Los Angeles
RESEARCH INTERESTS: Byzantium as a Tran-continental Civilization, Early Islamic History
My research focus is comparative Byzantine, Balkan, and Turkic history and culture in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. I am particularly interested in the figures Manuel II Palaiologos and Yildirim I Bayezid, and also am quite engaged with Vlad III Ţepeş (Dracula). Another more recent research interest in the history and culture of food in medieval Europe and the Mediterranean.My various articles on late Byzantine and early Ottoman history are published as Late Byzantine and Early Ottoman Studies (Ashgate, 2014). I am also the principal editor of TO ELLENIKON: Studies in Honor of Speros Vryonis, Jr., vol. 1, Hellenic Antiquity and Byzantium, and vol. 2, Byzantinoslavica, Islamica, the Balkans and Modern Greece (Caratzas, 1993). I am working now on a book entitled Manuel II Palaiologos’ Dialogue With A Persian: Four Studies, and a biography of the early Ottoman sultan Bayezid I (1389-1402).
Gary Rendsburg, Professor
Ph.D, New York University
RESEARCH INTERESTS: Ancient Near East
Gary Rendsburg's teaching and research focus on ‘all things ancient Israel’ – primarily language and literature, though just as importantly history and archaeology. His academic pursuits also expand into the post-biblical and medieval periods, with special interest in the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Cairo Geniza documents.The author of six books and approximately 120 scholarly articles (many available on his website), Dr. Rendsburg is perhaps best known for his general survey of the biblical world entitled The Bible and the Ancient Near East (1997), co-authored with his teacher, Cyrus H. Gordon. His most recent book is entitled Solomon’s Vineyard: Literary and Linguistic Studies in the Song of Songs (2009), co-authored with his student Scott B. Noegel. Dr. Rendsburg has also embraced multi-media instruction, developing “The Bible and History” for the Rutgers Jewish Studies Online program, as well as two courses produced by the Teaching Company: “The Book of Genesis” (2006) and “The Dead Sea Scrolls” (2010).