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Ryan Lynch - Columbus State University

Columbus State University

headshot of Ryan Lynch

Ryan Lynch

Associate Professor
History & Geography

Honors Faculty Fellow in Residence
Honors College

Academic Areas

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


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


Dr. Ryan Lynch is a specialist of 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 Program Coordinator for the CSU Digital Humanities program, along with serving the Columbus State University Honors College as Faculty-in-Residence. In the Honors College, he advises and teaches honors students throughout their time in Columbus.

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. He 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, jihadism, and the Caliphates.

Dr. Lynch’s research and teaching interests also combine the pre-modern with modern digital techniques and approaches, and he has an increasing specialization on computation textual reuse analysis as well as the use of the past in modern media such as video games.

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


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, won the 2021 SERMEISS Book Prize for the book of the year, “recogniz[ing] a peer-reviewed nonfiction work of outstanding scholarship published in English that exhibits original empirical and theoretical contributions in Middle Eastern or Islamic studies in any academic discipline in the social sciences or humanities from any time period.”

He is also serving as Content Lead and one of the lead editors on a new World History textbook that will be published by OpenStax during 2022 as a free, Open Educational Resource (OER).

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 and the upcoming updated and online version of The Routledge Encyclopedia of Medieval Islam and the Encyclopaedia of Islam, the definitive reference publication in the field of Islamic studies and history.

Among his most recent conference presentations are:

  • Co-Teaching the Digital Humanities: Natural Language Processing (NLP) and the September 11th Terrorist Attacks (National Collegiate Honors Conference, 27-31 October 2021).
  • “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.
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