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Alison Vacca

Associate Professor, Director of Graduate Studies


Alison Vacca joined the History department in 2014. She works with Arabic and Armenian sources about the caliphal North in the eighth and ninth centuries. Her book, Non-Muslim Provinces under Early Islam: Islamic Rule and Iranian Legitimacy in Armenia and Caucasian Albania, forthcoming in 2017, examines the use of pre-Islamic Iranian expressions of power and the memory of Sasanian rule in tenth-century descriptions of Islamic rule in Armenia and Caucasian Albania.

She is also working on Łewond’s Patmabanut‘iwn, an Armenian History of the early Caliphate, 632 – 788, an annotated English translation and Classical Armenian edition of an eighth-century history about Islamic rule in the Near East. 

Her articles include studies on intercultural transmission of historical texts, the use of Arabic sources to tell Armenian history, the relationship between the South Caucasus and Central Asia, and inter-communal conflict between Muslims and Christians under early Islamic rule.

 Dr. Vacca teaches courses in Middle Eastern history, medieval Iranian history, and world history to 1500. She plans to offer courses in Muslim-Christian relations under the early Islamic rule and the history of the medieval Caucasus in the future.


Ph.D. University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, 2013

MA in Near Eastern Studies, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, 2010

BA, Nazareth College of Rochester, 2006

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