Richard Bulliet

Richard Bulliet

Research Interest


Ph.D. — Harvard University, 1967
MA — Harvard University, 1964
BA — Harvard University, 1962

Interests and Research

Richard Bulliet, professor, specializes in Middle Eastern history, the social and institutional history of Islamic countries, and the history of technology.


  • Islamo-Christian Civilization
  • America and the Muslim World
  • History of Islamic Society
  • History of North Africa and the Sahara Desert to 1500
  • Domestic Animals and Human History
  • Technology and History
  • History of Iran down to the Safavid Period
  • History of the Modern Middle East
  • Religious Conversion
  • Nobility and Civility
  • Contemporary Civilization
  • Literature Humanities
  • Art Humanities
  • Music Humanities

Courses available on iTunes

Courses available on YouTube


  • Phi Beta Kappa - 1962
  • NDFL Fellowships (for Arabic and Turkish) - 1962-1965
  • Honorary Woodrow Wilson Fellowship - 1962
  • Woodrow Wilson Dissertation Fellowship - 1965-66
  • Fulbright-Hays Fellowship - 1965-66
  • Guggenheim Fellow - 1975-76
  • Dexter Prize of the Society for the History of Technology for The Camel and the Wheel - 1977
  • American-Indian Commission Fellowship - 1990


  • Member, Board of Trustees, Columbia University Press
  • Trustee, ILEX Foundation


Books: Non-fiction

Cotton, Climate, and Camels in Early Islamic Iran: A Moment in History

Hunters, Herders, and Hamburgers

The Case for Islamo-Christian Civilization

The Columbia History of the Twentieth Century

The Earth and Its Peoples: A Global History

The Encyclopedia of the Modern Middle East

Under Siege: Islam and Democracy

Islam: The View from the Edge

Conversion to Islam in the Medieval Period: An Essay in Quantitative History

The Camel and the Wheel

The Patricians of Nishapur: A Study in Medieval Islamic Social History

Books: Fiction

The Sufi Fiddle

The Gulf Scenario

The Tomb of the Twelfth Imam

Kicked to Death by a Camel

Scholarly Articles

“Iran between East and West,” Journal of International Affairs, 60:2 (2007), 1-14.

“Conversion-based Partronage and Onomastic Evidence,” in Patronate and Patronage in Early and Classical Islam, eds. Monique Bernards and John Nawas, Leiden: E. J. Brill, 2005, 246-62.

“Women and the Urban Religious Elite in the Pre-Mongol Period,” Guity Nashat and Lois Beck, eds., Women in Iran from the Rise of Islam to 1800, Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2003.

“The Crisis of Authority in Islam,” Wilson Quarterly, Winter 2002.

“Economic Systems and Technologies” and “Communication and Transport” in M. E. Bakhit, et al. Eds., History of Humanity: Scientific and Cultural Development. Volume IV, From the Seventh to the Sixteenth Century, Paris and London: UNESCO and Routledge, 2000, 71-83, 84-95.

“Twenty Years of Islamic Politics,” the Middle East Journal, 53/2 (Spring 1999), pp. 189-200.

“Themes, Conjunctures, and Comparisons,” in Heidi Roupp, ed., Teaching World History: A Resource Book, Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe, 1997, pp. 94-109.

“Day After Tomorrow: The Future of Islamic Movements,” Harvard International Review XIX/2 (Spring 1997), pp. 34-37, 66-67.

“Themes, Conjunctures, and Comparisons,” in Heidi Roupp, ed., Teaching World History: A Resource Book, Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe, 1997, pp. 94-109.

"The Individual in Islamic Society," in Irene Bloom et. al, eds., Religious Diversity and Human Rights, New York: Columbia University Press, 1996, pp. 175-191.

"Islamic World to 1500," in Mary Beth Norton and Pamela Gerardi, eds., The American Historical Association's Guide to Historical Literature, 3d ed., New York: Oxford University Press, 1995, vol. 1, pp. 498-526.

"Of Encyclopedias and the End of a World," Biblion. The Bulletin of The New York Public Library, 3/1 (Fall 1994), 49-58.

"Orientalism and Medieval Islamic Studies," in John Van Engen, ed., The Past and Future of Medieval Studies, Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 1994.