Joukowsky Family Middle East Studies Librarian:
Brown University Library, Research and Outreach Services
Phone: +1 401 863 3394
Ph.D, 2006, Anthropology, The University of Chicago
My research is engaged in a variety of different projects that range from the strictly archaeological to more general questions concerning the social theory of materiality and spatiality. I am currently completing the monograph for a research project that investigated the early Islamic period landscapes of Greater Syria. The book will be titled: "Islam Emplaced: The landscape of an emerging religious tradition."
Most recently (Summer 2010) I have served as field director for the Brown University Petra Archaeological Project (BUPAP) under the overall direction of Dr. Susan Alcock. Within that framework I am developing an Islamic Period Petra Initiative that will bring much of the data that we will be collecting for the later periods of the site (post 7th c.) into a synthetic archaeological study of the region that does not follow rigid political temporalities but looks to expand forward and backwards what constitutes an Islamic history.
Another archaeological project, currently in development, will examine the transformations to the fertile Egyptian region of the Fayyum located about one hour south of Cairo. Here I am putting together a team of researches to examine a 13th century irrigation wall that was instrumental in the agricultural and political revitalization of this region under the Mamluk Sultanate.
The broader theme of my work has been to understand the role of material culture in human societies. This has prompted me to form the Material Worlds working group at Brown that has brought together and interdisciplinary set of faculty members whose work focus on these issues. Supported by a grant from the Cogut Center for the Humanities we will continue to raise the profile of how things shape our lives through various campus events and developing new curricula. This has lead to my own particular interest in researching how Muslim thinkers understood the made world and what effects these discourses of the material had on the practical formations of the archaeological record. This has become most apparent in things such as the built environment and hence my research has concentrated on everything from ceramic scatters in fields, to walls to the cities of the Muslim world.
Information on my current research projects are available here
My teaching ranges from introductory courses on the archaeology and social history of the Islamic world to advanced seminars in the study of archaeology, religion, and landscape.
Please see the following course web pages:
Introduction to Islamic Archaeology
Archaeology and Religion
Arabia and the Arabs
- Material Worlds Working Group
- Minassian Quran database
- Islamic Archaeology Course
- Egypt after the Pharaohs Course
- Archaeological Dialogues