Jesse Izzo


Ph.D., University of Minnesota (2016)

Fields of Interest: Medieval Europe, Mediterranean, and Near East; Crusades and Christian-Muslim relations


Jesse W. Izzo is a medievalist whose research focuses on the Mediterranean world and Christian-Muslim relations. His current book project, Franks and Mamluks: Diplomacy, Politics, and War in Medieval Syria, is a comparative history of the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem and the Mamluk Sultanate of Egypt in the late thirteenth century. Drawing on sources in western European languages, Arabic, and Armenian, it argues that neither polity can be properly understood without the other. Moreover, it demonstrates that while the Sunni Mamluks and Latin Christian Franks were hostile to each other in a general sense, at the local level and in many specific situations, that binary breaks down. Thus, a more complete way of characterizing the Kingdom of Jerusalem and Egypt in the late thirteenth century is not simply as antagonists in a Christian-Muslim regional rivalry, but instead as quite deeply entangled—with diplomatic and political connections cutting across presumptive cultural and religious boundaries. As in his research, in his teaching Professor Izzo emphasizes trans-regional connections, comparative perspectives, and the surprising flexibility of religious and political identity.

Professor Izzo has been a Visiting Researcher at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (2012-13) and a Visiting Fellow with the Standing Committee on Medieval Studies at Harvard (Spring 2017). His work has been supported by the Fulbright program, the Irving and Helen Betz Foundation, Dumbarton Oaks, the Hill Manuscript Museum and Library, and the Fresno Institute for Classical Armenian Translation. Before coming to Miami, he taught at Quinnipiac University in Hamden, CT. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota, an M.Phil from Cambridge University, and a B.A. from Yale University.