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Department of History & Geography

Ryan Lynch

Assistant Professor / Graduate Program Coordinator

Ryan Lynch


Dr. Ryan Lynch
Position: Assistant Professor
Office: Yancey Center 327
Phone: 706-507-8397

Office Hours

Fall Semester 2020
By appointment


D.Phil., University of Oxford
M.Phil., University of Oxford
M.Litt., University of St Andrews
B.A., Stetson University

Specialty Area

Medieval and Classical Islamic History, Early Islamic Conquests, Umayyad and Early 'Abbasid Dynasties, Arabic Historiography, al-Baladhuri


Dr. Ryan Lynch is a specialist in early Islamic history, specifically the Islamic conquests and the establishment (and representation) of the first Islamic states.

He is also the Graduate Program Coordinator and chair of the department's graduate committee, along with serving the Columbus State University Honors College as Faculty-in-Residence.

Dr. Lynch arrived to CSU in Fall 2016, having previously taught for the University of Oxford, Stetson University, and Middlebury College's Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Studies. His D.Phil. dissertation focused on the career and writings of the early Muslim historian al-Balādhurī, and much of his continued research and teaching interests center on the early Arabic historical tradition and the construction and interpretation of this early historical material.

Lynch teaches introductory classes on World History to 1500 CE, foundational classes on Historical Methods and the Digital Humanities, as well as seminar classes on early Islam, Late Antiquity, the Crusades, and the Caliphates. He was elected as the inaugural Honors College Faculty Fellow in 2018, and also teaches honors students within the College each semester.

You can read more about Dr. Lynch's research on his webpage


Scholarly Activity

Dr. Lynch's book on the life and writing of the early Muslim author al-Balādhurī (d. ca. 892 CE), titled Arab Conquests and Early Islamic Historiography: The Futuh al-Buldan of al-Baladhuri, was published at the end of 2019 with I.B. Tauris/Bloomsbury Academic.

Additionally, he has recently published:

  • “Self-Revision and the Arabic Historical Tradition: Identifying Textual Reuse and Reorganization in the Works of al-Balādhurī.” The Medieval Globe. Vol. 6, No. 1 (2020): 9-30.
  • "'The Wall of Rock and Lead:' Abbasid Reflections on Sasanian Caucasian Policy in Arrān." In From Albania to Arran: The East Caucasus between Antiquity and Medieval Islam. Edited by Robert G. Hoyland. Piscataway: Gorgias Press, 2020.
  • "Cyprus and Its Legal and Historiographical Significance in Early Islamic History." Journal of the American Oriental Society. Vol. 136, No. 3 (2016): 535-550.

He has also recently contributed to the reference publications The Oxford Dictionary of Late Antiquity (2018) and the upcoming updated and online version of The Routledge Encyclopedia of Medieval Islam. He was recently commissioned to write the entry on al-Baladhuri in the latest version of Brill's Encyclopaedia of Islam, the definitive reference publication in the field of Islamic studies and history.

Among his most recent conference presentations are:

  • “Only Iron Will Strike Iron:” The Caliphate of Marwān b. al-Ḥakam and the Battle of Marj Rāhit. New College of Florida Conference on Medieval and Renaissance Studies, 13 March 2020.
  • "'A Lion in a Thicket:' Ibn al-Zubayr and the Legitimacy of the Islamic Prophet Muhammad." Southeastern Medieval Association Annual Meeting, College of the Bahamas, 9 November 2018.
  • "Tracing the Memory of the Battle of al-Qādisiyya in Early Arabic Historiography." Panel: After Qādisiyya. Fifth World Congress of Middle Eastern Studies, Sevilla, Spain, 20 July 2018.
  • "Writing With Purpose: Reuse, Reorganization, and Reshaping Historical Material in the Works of al-Balādhurī." Recycling, Revision, and Relocation in the Middle Ages, Harvard University, 9 February 2018.
  • "A Different Kind of Control: The Frontiers of the Caliphate in the Early Islamic Period." Southeastern Medieval Association Annual Meeting, University of Tennessee Knoxville, 7 October 2016.
  • "The Reception and Reuse of al-Balādhurī's Kitāb Futūḥ al-Buldān in Medieval Islamic History." Al-Balādhurī: A Guide for the Perplexed Workshop, University of Oxford, 30 April 2016.