Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations and the College
Cecilia Palombo is a historian of the premodern Middle East specializing in late antiquity and the early Islamic period. She studies its documentary cultures, multilingual traditions, and endangered cultural heritages, exploring questions about administrative, scribal, and archival practices involving different religious and linguistic groups in early Islamicate societies, including the documents’ modern musealization and digitization. She is interested in the concept of “community” and in interrogating community-centered historical narratives about the premodern Middle East.
Her work has been published in Cromohs: Cyber Review of Modern Historiography, Digital Scholarship in the Humanities, Medieval Encounters, and Millennium. She has also contributed chapters to Unlocking the Medinan Qur’an (Brill, 2022), Sources for Byzantine Art History. Volume 3: The Visual Culture of Later Byzantium (1081–1350) (Cambridge University Press, 2022), and From Constantinople to the Frontier: The City and the Cities (Brill, 2016).
Palombo received a BA from the University of Rome La Sapienza, an MA from the School of the State Archives of Rome, an MPhil from the University of Oxford, and a PhD from Princeton University. She completed postdoctoral work at the Institute for Area Studies of Leiden University in the Netherlands.