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Dr Yosseff Rapoport


Reader in Islamic History

Telephone: +44 (0)20 7882 8362
Room Number: ArtsTwo 3.29


I am a historian of the social, cultural and legal aspects of life in the Islamic, Arabic-speaking Middle East in its Middle Ages, from about 1000 to 1500 AD.

I was trained in the universities of Tel Aviv (Israel), Princeton (USA) and Oxford, before joining Queen Mary in 2008.


Research Interests:

My work mostly relates to the history of the Islamic Middle East under the Fatimid, Ayyubid and Mamluk dynasties. My main focus is the history of everyday life and the relatively unexplored history of women, slaves and peasants. I am also interested in the history of Islamic medieval maps.

My research has followed the following routes:

  • Women and gender in medieval Islam
  • History of Islamic law
  • Medieval Islamic maps
  • Peasants and nomads in the medieval Islam


Women and gender in medieval Islam

History of Islamic law


Medieval Islamic maps

  • “The Nile in medieval Islamic maps”, in Charles Burnett , Pavel Blazek  and Alessandro Scafi (eds.),  The Nile in Medieval Thought and Culture (forthcoming, 2013).
  • “Reflections of Fatimid Power in the Maps of Island cities in the ‘Book of Curiosities”, in Martina Stercken / Ingrid Baumgärtner (Eds.), Herrschaft verorten. Politische Kartographie des Mittelalters und der frühen Neuzeit, (Medienwandel - Medienwechsel - Medienwissen), (Zürich: Chronos, 2012), 183–210.

Peasants and nomads in the medieval Islam

Islamic History - General

"New Directions in the Social history of the Mamluk Era (link is external)", in Stephan Connermann (ed.), History and Society during the Mamluk Period (1250-1517). Studies of the Annemarie Schimmel Research College, volume 1 (Bonn University Press, 2014), 143-157.

"Gu Yanwu and Ibn Khaldun (1332–1406): The Risks of Returning the Gaze (link is external)", Fragments Volume 1 (2011), 88-93 

Editorial Positions

Member of editorial board of Islamic Law and Society (link is external)

PhD Supervision

I welcome applications from candidates wishing to undertake doctoral research in the following areas:

  • Fatimid, Ayyubid or Mamluk history
  • History of Islamic law
  • Family life in medieval Islam
  • History of Islamic cartography
  • Ibn Taymiyyah and his legac

Current PhD Students

Current PHD Students

  • Amenah Abdulkarim – Building Craftsmen in Mamluk Society 648-923/1250-1517
  • Omar Anchassi – Fazlur Rahman: The Reformulation of the Religious Sciences of Islam
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