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Carolyn G. Baugh

  • Associate Professor
    History Program
  • Director,Women's Studies
    History Program
  • Associate Professor
    Foreign Languages Program

In my fifth year teaching at Gannon, I am excited to continue to share my enthusiasm for the study of Middle Eastern history, Islamic civilization and jurisprudence, and Arabic language and literature, as well as my concern for women's issues (and human rights generally) throughout the globe (in the pre-modern and modern periods).  I am director of the Women's Studies Program-- YOU should minor in Women's Studies, an excellent way to enhance your critical thinking skills and deepen your understanding of how gender issues affect the world around us!

In addition to Fairview, Philadelphia, Chicago, and Durham NC, I have lived in Cairo, Egypt, where I studied at the American University in Cairo (AUC)-- Through AUC I got to row crew on the Nile, even winning a gold medal with our women's four in the African championships.  I don't do much rowing anymore, but that was one of the best experiences I ever had-- and seeing Cairo from the water (where it's actually pretty peaceful) gives you a whole new perspective on what is surely the busiest city in the world.   It's a rough time in Egypt right now, but eventually I hope to lead some Gannon trips there, and help students see the Cairo I know and love-- of people who love to laugh, and whose hospitality and kindness are unmatched on the planet.  I am very excited to be teaching Arabic this year and helping Gannon provide critical languages to its students.

I was trained as a classical pianist, and I'm always looking for a chance to sit down and play!   In addition to academic writing (my book on Islamic Law focuses on child marriage) and translating (I have translated Ibn Khaldun's book on Islamic mysticism for NYU Press), I'm also a published novelist.  My first book, the View from Garden City, is a work of literary fiction based on my years in Cairo.  My second and third novels, entitled Quicksand and Shoreline are part of a mystery/thriller series about an Egyptian-American FBI agent named Nora Khalil!   You can check out my website here: 

  • History without Borders
  • History through Arabic Literature  
  • History of Modern Egypt  
  • Honors History without Borders
  • Women in Middle East History  
  • Intro to the Middle East   
  • American Military History/Women and War 
  • Introductory Arabic
  • Arabic 2
  • Arabic 3
  • Arabic 4
  • University of Pennsylvania, Ph.D., 2011 "Compulsion in minor marriages as discussed in early Islamic legal texts"
  • University of Pennsylvania, M.A., 2008 
  • Duke University, A.B. (summa cum laude), 1995
  • International Society for Islamic Legal Studies
  • Oral History Association
  • American Academy of Religion


Books and Articles:

Minor Marriage in Early Islamic Law, Leiden: Brill, 2017.

Ibn Khaldun and the Questioner's Cure, New York: New York University Press (Forthcoming, 2018).

"Revolting Women? Early Kharijite Women in the Arabic Sources," Journal of Islamic and Muslim Studies, Indiana University Press (Forthcoming, 2017).

“Marriage and Divorce in Islamic Law,” Encyclopedia of Islam and the Muslim World, eds. Richard Martin et al, Macmillan, 2016.

“Sisters United in Common Cause,” Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs, Georgetown University, online essay, 2014.

“Ibn Taymiyah’s Feminism?  Imprisonment and the Divorce Fatwas” in
Muslima Theology, ed. Marcia Hermansen, Vienna: Peter Lang, 2013.

“An Evolution in Early Juristic Thought on Prepubescent Marriage,”
Comparative Islamic Studies, vol. 5.1 (2009) 33–92.

“Menstruation.” Oxford Encyclopedia of the Islamic World, Oxford University Press, 2009.


Islam and Literalism, by Robert Gleave, International Journal of Middle East Studies
(January, 2016).

Imam Shafi‘i Scholar and Saint, by Kecia Ali, American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences

Marriage and Slavery in Early Islam, by Kecia Ali, Journal of Islamic Studies

Ibn Abi Tahir Tayfur, a 9th Century Bookman in Baghdad, by Shawkat Toorawa,
Muslim World Book Review ( 2005).


Shoreline, A Nora Khalil Novel, New York: Tor Books (July, 2017).

Quicksand, A Nora Khalil Novel, New York: Tor Books (September, 2015).

The View from Garden City, New York: Forge Books (2008).

My research has focused on historical developments in early Islamic law, and specifically on the topic of child marriage-- research that I hope to contribute to the ongoing efforts to end this practice in the countries (Muslim and non-Muslim) where it is still practiced.  I have also written on divorce law and women warriors in early Islamic history.  I am particularly concerned with unearthing early women scholars of Islam and female activists in the pre-modern period, and, by extension, interested in how selective approaches to  history affect rights discourses in the present.

My current interest in both human trafficking and oral history has shaped my research on statelessness.  Statelessness is a major contributing to factor to increased vulnerability for human trafficking.  I am thus researching effects of statelessness on refugee populations, particularly those refugees in the United States (Erie itself has a rich and diverse refugee population numbering in the thousands), and recording their experiences in oral history interviews.  I am thrilled to bring my students into these efforts by teaching them oral history methodologies and training them to be oral historians.


  • I am faculty adviser to Saudi Students Association.
  • I direct the Women's Studies Program (Women's Studies Minor) which organizes Women's Studies Teas around important issues several times each semester.
  • I direct the Refugee Oral History Program, geared at increasing tolerance and understanding between the diverse refugee populations of Erie and their Erie neighbors.
  • I serve on the International Film committee.
Carolyn         G. Baugh

Phone: 814-871-+1 8148715750
Office: PC 2217

Contact Carolyn Baugh