Indira Gesink headshot

Ph.D., Washington University in St. Louis

Indira Gesink

Professor of HistoryIndira Gesink headshot

Ph.D., Washington University in St. Louis


(440) 826-2280,

Dr. Indira Gesink received a doctorate in history from Washington University in St. Louis in 2000. She teaches courses in Middle Eastern and Islamic history, the Arab-Israeli conflicts, world history, historiography and gender studies. She enjoys mediating student debates on historical controversies and methods of inquiry. Her main research interest is in Islamic legal discourses about gender, lay legal interpretation and the rise of militant Islam. She also directs collaborative undergraduate research projects, including the Adams Street Cemetery Project, the Berea Oral History Initiative and the translation of the memoirs of Princess Djavidan.


Her publications include “Chaos on the Earth: Subjective Truths vs. Communal Unity in Islamic Law and the Rise of Militant Islam” (American Historical Review, June 2003); “Intersex Bodies in Premodern Islamic Discourse: Complicating the Binary” (Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies, July 2018); Islamic Reform and Conservatism: Al-Azhar and the Evolution of Modern Sunni Islam (I.B. Tauris, 2009, 2013); Barefoot Millionaire: John Baldwin and the Founding Values of Baldwin Wallace University (BWU, 2013), and Philosophies of History, an edited anthology of primary sources on historiography from ancient times to the present (Cicero, 2018). She has several book projects in various stages of completion: an investigation of intersex in pre-modern Islamic texts and a series of historical novels set during the 2011-2012 uprisings in Egypt and Syria.

Current Course Rotation

For a recent syllabus, contact Gesink. 

  • HIS 102I World Civilizations 1500-present (every semester)
  • HIS 236I Women in Asian Civilizations (fall semester, even years)
  • HIS 288I Islamic History 600-1800 (fall semester, odd years)
  • HIS 389I Modern Middle East (spring semester, even years)
  • HIS 381I Arab-Israeli Conflicts (spring semester, odd years)
  • HIS 461 Historiography (every fall semester) 
  • Faculty-Student Collaborative Scholarship (Interested? Contact Gesink.)
  • Departmental Thesis or Project (Interested? Contact Gesink.)