As a historian of the Middle Ages, I enjoy sharing with students the paradox of strangeness and familiarity that characterizes the distant past. My courses cover social, political, religious, legal, and economic history from the beginning of the Middle Ages into the early modern period, with an emphasis on interaction across cultural boundaries within and beyond Europe. Students in my courses work closely with medieval sources and learn how they have been used to construct historical narratives.

My research focuses on the trade in slaves from the Black Sea into the Mediterranean during the later Middle Ages (thirteenth through fifteenth centuries). This form of slavery tended to be small-scale, urban, domestic, female, and grounded in religious rather than racial difference. I am particularly interested in the merchants who conducted this trade, the religious and political authorities who regulated it, and the slaves as they underwent the process of shipping and sale.


“Christianities in Conflict: The Black Sea as a Genoese Slaving Zone in the Later Middle Ages,” in Slaving Zones: Cultural Identities, Ideologies, and Institutions in the Evolution of Global Slavery, ed. Jeff Fynn-Paul and Damian Alan Pargas (Leiden: Brill, 2018), 50-69.

“Purchasing a Slave in Fourteenth-Century Cairo: Ibn al-Akfānī’s Book of Observation and Inspection in the Examination of Slaves,”  Mamluk Studies Review 19 (2016): 1-24.

“Reconnecting with the Homeland: Black Sea Slaves in Mamluk Biographical Dictionaries,” Medieval Prosopography 30 (2015): 87-104.

“Egypt and the Black Sea Slave Trade During the Thirteenth Century,” Bulletin of the American Research Center in Egypt 199 (2011): 33-35


Ph.D., Columbia University, 2014
M.A., Columbia University, 2009
B.A., University of Chicago, 2005