A. Richard Heffron
Curriculum Vitae



Ph.D., 2020                  Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, University of Chicago
Dissertation:                “The Life and Work of Abū Zurʿa al-Dimashqī: A Lens into the Scholarly  History of Early Islamic Syria.”
Committee:                 Fred Donner (chair), Tahera Qutbuddin, Ahmed el Shemsy, Antoine Borrut
Exam fields:                 Early Islamic History; Modern Middle Eastern History; Classical Arabic

M.A., 2009                   Middle Eastern Studies, University of Chicago

B.A., 2007                    History, Quinnipiac University (Hamden, CT)

Research Interests

Islamic and Middle Eastern history; Islamic thought (Quran, hadith, law, theology, and philosophy); social and intellectual history of Muslim scholarly communities; origins of Islam; Arab-Islamic codicology, numismatics, and epigraphy; classical Arabic literature; Muslim-Christian-Jewish relations; Late Antiquity; Mediterranean history; historiography


Dictionary Articles

In press                        “Walīd I (d. 715)”; “Makūl al-Shāmī (d. 730)”; “al-Bukhārī (d. 870)”; “Ibn Mājah (d. 887)” in I.B. Tauris Biographical Dictionary of Islamic Civilization, ed. Mustafa Shah (London: I.B. Tauris)

2018                               “Anwa’”; “Lashane; “Battle of Marj Rahit (684)”; “Muammad b. Marwān (d. 719–20)”; “Muṣʿab b. al-Zubayr (d. 691)”; “Rajāʾb. aywa al-Kindī (d. 730)”; “ʿUbayd Allāh b. Ziyād (d. 686)”; “al-Zubayr b. al-ʿAwwām (d. 656)” in The Oxford Dictionary of Late Antiquity, ed. Oliver Nicholson (Oxford: Oxford University Press)

Book Reviews
Forthcoming                Review of Jonathan Brockopp,Muhammad’s Heirs: The Rise of the Muslim Scholarly Community(Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2017) inH-Net Ideas


In press                        “Muhammad casts out an evil spirit from a boy: a tradition from Ibn anbal’s Musnad,” in The Penguin Book of Exorcisms, ed. Joseph Laycock (New York: Penguin Classics)

Other Publications

2019                    “An Informal Guide to Fuat Sezgin’s Geschichte des Arabischen Schrifttums,”, February 25 

2016                                “Islam in Ithaca,” Ithaca Times, September 7

2014                               “Liberal Education in America is Under Threat,” History News Network,    September 21
2012                               “From the Caucuses to Cairo: Religion’s Resurgence in Politics,” Wilmington News Journal, May 15

Teaching Experience


Ithaca College 

Lecturer, Department of Philosophy and Religion


Spring 2020                 Introduction to World Religions: Western and Modern

Winter 2020                 Introduction to World Religions (online, intensive course)

Fall 2019                       Introduction to World Religions: Western and Modern (two sections)

Spring 2019                  Introduction to World Religions: Western and Modern                      

Illinois Institute of Technology                                                                                         

Lecturer, Lewis College of Human Sciences 

Spring 2015                  History of the Modern Middle East

Fall 2014                       Gender and Sexuality in Islam 

Fall 2014                       Age of Darwin


University of Chicago

Teaching Assistant, Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations


Spring 2015                  Introduction to the Middle East
Spring 2014                  Introductory Arabic 
Spring 2013                  Modern Middle Eastern History 
Fall 2012                       Early Islamic History and Civilization 
Fall 2011                        Early Islamic Thought and Literature

Awards and Honors

2016                              Middle East Studies Association Wadad Kadi Travel Fellowship 

2012                              Summer Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowship—Cairo, Egypt          

2012                              Islamic Numismatics Seminar Fellowship, Princeton University

2009–2011                    Academic Year Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowship, University of Chicago 

2008                            Summer Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowship—Damascus, Syria

2008–2009                  University Fellowship, University of Chicago 

2006                            Interdisciplinary Research Grant, Quinnipiac University

2006                            Best Academic Paper, Southern New England Phi Alpha ThetaConference 

2004–2006                  Member of Phi Alpha Theta

Presentations & Lectures

2019                   Ulamalogy and the Arabic Biographical Tradition, panel co-organizer at the 53rdannual meeting of the Middle East Studies Association (November 17) 

2019                               “Muslim Cosmopolitanism,” guest lecture presented for Professor Rachel Wagner’s International Scholarly Conversation seminar at Ithaca College (February 21, 2019)

2018                             “The Development of Islamic Law,” guest lecture presented for Professor Aaron Rock-Singer’s Islamic History and Civilizationcourse at Cornell University (October 3)

2016                     “The Transmission and Compilation of Knowledge in Abbasid Syria,” paper presented at the 50thannual meeting of the Middle East Studies Association (November 18)

2016                              Approaches to Historiography in the Early Islamic World, panel organizer at the 50thannual meeting of the Middle East Studies Association, Sponsored by the Middle East Medievalists (November 18)

2016                             “An Analysis of Early Arab-Islamic Battle Khubas (Speeches),” paper presented at the 31stannual Middle Eastern History and Theory Conference at the University of Chicago (May 6)

2014                     Innovations and Investigations in Islamicate Historiographypanel chair and discussant at the 29thannual Middle Eastern History and Theory Conference at the University of Chicago (May 3)

2011                          “Tribal Fakhrand the Cycle of Mourning in al-Khansā’s Qāfiyat al-Hā’,” paper presented at the 26thannual Middle Eastern History and Theory Conference at the University of Chicago (May 13) 

2006                         “Facing the ‘-Isms’: Sayyid Qutb’s Development of Radical Islamic Ideology,” paper presented at the Southern New England Phi Alpha Theta Conference at Yale University (April 2006) and at the Phi Alpha Theta Biennial National Convention in Philadelphia (January 2006)

Research Languages 

Arabic (advanced reading and speaking), Syriac (intermediate reading), German (intermediate reading and speaking), French (basic reading), Persian (basic reading)


July 2016                       Arabic codicology taught by Frédéric Bauden at University of Chicago 

March 2012                   Islamic numismatics taught by Stefan Heidemann at Princeton University 


2019                                Research assistant to Saadia Faruqi for her forthcoming book Great Muslim Minds 

2013–2016                       Copy editor and bibliographer, Mamluk Studies Review

2010–2011              Director of Arabic Circle, Center for Middle Eastern Studies at University of Chicago

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