Assistant Professor of History
Academic Program Affiliation(s): Historical Studies, Medieval Studies
Biography:Valentina Grasso comes to Bard from Catholic University of America, where she taught in the Department of Semitic and Egyptian Languages and Literatures. She previously taught at New York University’s Institute for the Study of the Ancient World, and was an affiliate member of the European Research Council (ERC) project “The Qur’an as a Source for Late Antiquity” and the Cambridge Silk Road Program. Grasso has participated in archaeological projects in Iraqi Kurdistan, Sicily, Ethiopia, and Jordan; and pursued additional study in Classical Armenian, Coptic language, Ethiopian and Eritrean manuscripts, Moroccan Arabic, and Islamic archaeology, among other subjects. Professor Grasso’s doctoral dissertation at the University of Cambridge was published as a monograph, Pre-Islamic Arabia: Societies, Politics, Cults, and Identities during Late Antiquity (Cambridge University Press, 2023). A second monograph, Trading Faiths: From the Battle of Edessa to the Sack of Baghdad (260–1258 ce) is in preparation. Publications also include the forthcoming “Indian Ocean Figures that Sailed Away,” proceedings of the ISAW Roundtable Seminar Series; journal articles, book chapters, reviews, and reports in, among others, Journal of Near Eastern Studies, Journal of Late Antiquity, The Study of Islamic Origins: New Perspectives and Contexts, Journal of the American Oriental Society, Harvard Theological Review, Journal of Ecclesiastical History, and Journal of Roman Studies.
BA, University of Catania; MA, University of Naples; PhD, University of Cambridge. At Bard since 2023.