My research deals with fiscal administration in the Ottoman Empire and its connections with political legitimation, and I set my work on the Ottomans within the wider context of the early modern period in Europe and, to a lesser extent, states farther east.
I am now beginning to examine provincial fiscality in the seventeenth century and its impact on provincial politics, taking Syria-Lebanon as a case study. I have taught Middle Eastern history at the University of Arizona since 1989. My teaching ranges broadly from Muhammad to the present and from "Mali to Bali"; in my classes, I ask my students to question received wisdom and stereotypes about the Muslim world and to create their own narratives and develop their own positions independent of the textbook, which, of course, demands a great deal of careful reading and writing. In addition to the Ottoman Empire, I regularly teach a Islamic history, and graduate and undergraduate historiography.