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Peter B. Ritzma Professor of Near Eastern History,The Oriental Institute and Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, The University of Chicago

Nina Maria Gorrissen Fellow in History - Class of Spring 2019


Fred Donner is Peter B. Ritzma Professor of Near Eastern History in The Oriental Institute and Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at the University of Chicago. After receiving a BA and PhD from Princeton University, he taught Middle Eastern history at Yale University, from 1975 to 1982. A former president of the Middle East Studies Association and Middle East Medievalists, and a life member of the Scientific Committee of the Tunisian Academy of Sciences, Letters and Arts “Bayt al-Hikma,” Donner is the author of several seminal studies of the origins of Islam: The Early Islamic Conquests (Princeton, 1981), The History of al-Tabari: The Conquest of Arabia (SUNY, 1993), Narratives of Islamic Origins: The Beginnings of Islamic Historical Writing (Darwin, 1998), Muhammad and the Believers: At the Origins of Islam (Harvard, 2010), Umayyads and Others in the Umayyad State (co-editor; Chicago, 2016), and, forthcoming, Scripts and Scripture: Writing and Religion in Arabia, ca.500-700 CE (co-editor; Chicago). His work has been supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities, John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, and Stanford Humanities Center, among others.

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