Paul M. Cobb

Edmund J. and Louise W. Kahn Term Professor of Near Eastern Languages and CivilizationsChair, Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations


Paul M. Cobb is Professor of Islamic History and Chair of the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at the University of Pennsylvania. 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, 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 most recently, 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).