CMES: Conquest and Conversion in Medieval Muslim Sicily


Thursday, September 28, 2017, 4:00pm to 6:00pm


CMES, Rm 102, 38 Kirkland St, Cambridge, MA
Photo of Dr. Metcalfe

The Center for Middle Eastern Studies presents

Alex Metcalfe
Senior Lecturer, Department of History, Lancaster University, UK

Dr. Metcalfe's research interests include anything bordering on, or somehow falling within, "the Mediterranean basin" as might be understood in the widest possible sense, including the Islamic "World," the Byzantine empire, and most of the Latin West. Regions of particular interest include Sicily, Sardinia, Italian Peninsula, North Africa, Iberian Peninsula, Egypt, Syria-Palestine, Italian maritime states. His research focuses principally on political, diplomatic, administrative, linguistic, socio-economic, and socio-religious themes. Topics of interest include: State formation and disintegration in and around the Mediterranean; political thought and ideologies; rulership; administration; law, society and government; holy war and crusade; inter-faith relations; religious conversion and assimilation; cross-cultural contacts in Muslim-Christian frontier zones.

Dr. Metcalfe's current projects include:

  • A revised and expanded version of The Muslims of Medieval Italy (Edinburgh, 2009), to be published in Italian as I musulmani dell'Italia medievale (Palermo);
  • A new critical edition of William II's bilingual (Arabic-Greek) confirmations of lands and men conceded to the church of S. Maria Nuova at Monreale in Sicily between 1178 and 1183. A website is being developed for the wider project, and a large database will soon appear. BRILL have recently accepted this for publication in their Islamic History and Civilization Series.
  • A collaborative project to research old and new evidence for the Muslim impact on Byzantine Sardinia. Along with Giovanni Serreli (ISEM-CNR), he has commissioned a new collection of articles to be written over the coming year. The volume, "The Making of Medieval Sardinia," will be published in English.

This lecture is funded by the H.A.R. Gibb Lecture Fund at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies.

Contact: Liz Flanagan