Jesse W. Izzo, Fordham Center for Medieval Studies’ Medieval Fellow for the academic year ’23-’24, gave the first of the Center’s fall lectures on Monday October 2. Dr. Izzo holds a PhD from the University of Minnesota and an MPhil from Cambridge University and has been a lecturer and a visiting scholar at Stanford University’s Abbasi Program in Islamic Studies.
Dr. Izzo’s presentation, entitled “The Fall of ‘Crusader’ Acre Recontextualized,” reexamined the final decades of the Kingdom of Jerusalem and the historiography surrounding the fall of Acre. Dr. Izzo suggested that historiography around the fall of Acre, a critical moment in the long decline of the Kingdom of Jerusalem, is too focused on Latin (that is, Christian) sources. He pointed out that common interpretations of the Kingdom of Jerusalem’s decline often fail to take into account the political and theological concerns of the Mamluk and Ayyubid kingdoms by which the kingdom of Jerusalem was surrounded. By examining relationships between the inhabitants of the Holy Land first on a local, then a regional, and finally a transregional level, Dr. Izzo encouraged listeners to consider the complex web of cultural and political interactions that influenced major political events.
Dr. Izzo’s lecture was received with great enthusiasm by Fordham’s students and professors and was followed by a round of questions from Fordham professors and graduate students. We are all looking forward to continuing to work with Dr. Izzo, and we are very happy to welcome him to Fordham’s community of scholars and students!