Faculty and Contributors


Ahmet T. Karamustafa is Professor of History at the University of Maryland, College Park. His expertise is in social and intellectual history of medieval and early modern Islam in the Middle East and Southwest Asia. He is the author of three books, one co-edited volume, and many articles and essays. His most recent book, Sufism: The Formative Period, California, 2007), has established Karamustafa as the leading scholar of medieval and early modern Sufism. He has taught courses at the graduate and undergraduate level in History, Religious Studies as well as Jewish, Islamic and Near Eastern Studies. He has also held several administrative positions, including a five-year term as director of the Religious Studies Program at Washington University in St. Louis. From 2008 to 2011, he served as the co-chair of the Study of Islam Section at the American Academy of Religion.

Charles Parker is the Eugene A. Hotfelder Professor in the Humanities and Professor of History at Saint Louis University, where he has taught since 1994. He is the author of three books, two co-edited volumes and numerous articles and essays. Trained in the history of early modern Europe, Parker has expanded his research focus in recent years to explore global patterns of exchange during this period. His latest book, Global Interactions in the Early Modern Age, 1400-1800 (Cambridge, 2010) reflects this emphasis. He has taught world history regularly over the past fifteen years in a variety of formats. A guest lecturer at a 2007 NEH Summer Institute at Calvin College, Parker received a NEH Fellowship for 2010-2011 to undertake a comparative study of Calvinist communities outside of Europe from 1600 to 1800.


Project Coordinator and Webmaster

Amy Wallhermfechtel is a PhD candidate at Saint Louis University.  She teaches World History and American History at Saint Louis University and Lindenwood University.  She also serves as the Director of Communications for the Institute for Political History.  Her dissertation examines the role of private interest groups in national and state Right-to-Work campaigns between 1944 and 1960. She has written short pieces for the Cambridge Encyclopedia of American History and the Oxford Encyclopedia of Political, Policy and Legal History.



Joe Western is a Ph.D. candidate in Medieval History with a focus in Byzantine History.  His research examines cooperation and conflict between Greek and Latin Christendom in Byzantine Southern Italy in the Early Medieval period.  He teaches courses in Western Civilization at Saint Louis University and has worked as an instructor for the Saint Louis University Prison Program.

Anne Romine is a Ph.D. candidate in Medieval History at Saint Louis University.  Her research focuses on the crusade and noble culture in the later middle ages, examining the interactions of crusading with the movement for the reform of chivalry in France and England during the Hundred Years’ War period. 

Institute Faculty

Timothy Parsons is Professor of History and African and African American Studies, as well as the Director of the International and Area Studies Program at Washington University in St. Louis. His areas of expertise include world history, the social history of colonial Africa and Urban history. His two most recent books are The Rule of Empires (Oxford University Press, 2010) and Race, Resistance and the Boy Scout Movement in British Colonial Africa (Ohio University Press, 2004).

Laura Hostetler is Professor and Chair in the Department of History at the University of Illinois in Chicago. A specialist in East Asia, her research has focused on imperial encounters and ethnography in a number of early modern contexts. Her books include, Qing Colonial Enterprise: Ethnography and Cartography in Early Modern China (University of Chicago Press, 2001) and (co-authored) The Art of Ethnography: A Miao Album of Guizhou Province (University of Washington Press, 2005).

Molly Greene is Professor and Associate Chair of History as well as the Acting Director of the Hellenic Studies Program at Princeton University. Her scholarship deals with the history of the Mediterranean Basin, the Ottoman Empire, and the Greek world. Her books include A Shared World: Christians and Muslims in the Early Modern Mediterranean (Princeton University Press, 2000) and Catholic Corsairs and Greek Merchants: A Maritime History of the Mediterranean (Princeton University Press, 2011).

Rudi Matthee is the Munroe Chair of History at the University of Delaware. His teaching and research expertise lies in Middle Eastern history with a focus on early modern Iran and the Persian Gulf. Two of his many publications include, The Politics of Trade in Safavid Iran: Silk for Silver, 1600-1730 (Cambridge University Press, 1999) and Persia in Crisis: The Decline of the Safavids and the Fall of Isfahan (I.B Tauris, 2011).

Carla Rahn Phillips is the Union Pacific Professor of Comparative Early Modern History at the University of Minnesota. With broad interests in early modern Europe, her research concentration concerns Spain and Spanish maritime history. Two of her many books include, The Treasure of the San José: Death at Sea in the War of the Spanish Succession (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2007) and Spain's Men of the Sea: The Daily Life of Crews on the Indies Fleets in the Sixteenth Century (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1998).

Richard Bulliet is Professor of history at Columbia University who specializes in the history of Islamic society and institutions, the history of technology, and the history of the role of animals in human society. His recent books include, Cotton, Climate, and Camels in Early Islamic Iran: A Moment in World History (Columbia University Press, 2009) and The Case for Islamo-Christian Civilization (Columbia University Press, 2004).

Simon Ditchfield is a Reader in the History Department and Chair of the Board of Studies at the University of York, England. His research interests relate to perceptions and uses of the past in previous societies, but particularly within the urban and religious culture in early modern Italy. His recent books include, (co-authored) Storia della Santita nel Cristianesimo Occidentale (Viella, 2005) and Liturgy, Sanctity and History in Tridentine Italy: Pietro Maria Campi and the Preservation of the Particular (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995). Currently, he is finishing a major book on global Catholicism.

W. George Lovell is Professor of Geography at Queen’s University, Canada who focuses on human geography in Central and South America. Two of his recent books include, (co-authored) La Patria del Criollo: An Interpretation of Colonial Guatemala (Duke University Press, 2009) and (co-authored) Demografía e imperio: Guía para la historia de la población de la América Central española (Editorial Universitaria de la Universidad de San Carlos 2000).

Photo by Daniel Hernandez-Salazar

Ulrike Strasser is Associate Professor of History and Affiliate Faculty in German, Women’s Studies and Religious Studies at the University of California, Irvine. Her research concentrates on gender, religion, and culture in early modern Europe and World History. She has published State of Virginity: Politics, Religion, and Gender in a German Catholic Polity (University of Michigan Press, 2004) and co-authored) Gender, Kinship, Power: A Comparative and Interdisciplinary History (Routledge, 1996).