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Luke B. Yarbrough, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Courses Taught

Origins of the Modern World; Crossroads of the World: The Middle East Through History; The Modern Middle East; The U.S. and the Middle East; Studies in Medieval History: Early and Medieval Islamic History (Graduate)



Ph.D. (Near Eastern Studies) Princeton University, 2012

M.A., (Near Eastern Studies) Princeton University, 2008

A.B. (History), Princeton University, 2004

Research Interests


Pre-modern Middle Eastern and Islamic history; Relations among Jews, Christians, and Muslims; Law and Society; State administration; Transmission of knowledge.

Publications and Media Placements

(Editor/Translator) The Sword of Ambition: Bureaucratic Rivalry in Medieval Egypt, by ʿUthmān ibn Ibrāhīm al-Nābulusī (d. 1262). The Library of Arabic Literature. New York: NYU Press, 2016; “A rather small genre: Arabic works against non-Muslim state officials,” Der Islam 93:1 (April 2016), pp. 139–69; “The Madrasa and the non-Muslims of thirteenth-century Egypt: A reassessment,” in Entangled Histories: Knowledge, Authority, and Jewish Culture in the Thirteenth Century. Ed. E. Baumgarten, R. Karras, K. Mesler. Philadelphia: The University of Pennsylvania Press, 2016, pp. 93–112; “Did ʿUmar b. ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz enact a religious criterion for state employment?” in Christians and Others in the Umayyad State. Ed. A. Borrut and F. Donner. Chicago: The Oriental Institute, 2016; “Origins of the ghiyār,” Journal of the American Oriental Society 134: 1 (2014), pp. 113-121; "Upholding God’s Rule: Early Muslim juristic opposition to the state employment of non-Muslims,” Islamic Law and Society 19:1 (2012) (ed. H. Motzki and D. Powers), pp. 11-85;

Honors and Awards

New York University Abu Dhabi Institute Humanities Research Fellowship, 2016-17; Saint Louis University Graduate Student Association Mentorship Award, 2014; Bayard and Cleveland Dodge Memorial Dissertation Prize, Department of Near Eastern Studies, Princeton University, 2013; Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship, Herbert D. Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies, University of Pennsylvania, 2012; Dolores Zohrab Liebmann Fellowship, 2011-12; Fulbright Fellowship, Egypt, 2004-5

Professional Organizations and Associations

American Historical Association; American Academy of Religion; Middle East Studies Association