Marina Rustow is a historian of the medieval Middle East. She specializes in reading documents in Arabic, Judaeo-Arabic, Hebrew and Aramaic, including letters, legal deeds and state administrative and fiscal records, especially from Cairo Geniza collections. She directs the Princeton Geniza Lab, where undergraduates, graduate students, postdocs and faculty work collaboratively to decipher and digitize Geniza documents. She has also been working closely with the Center for Digital Humanities to redesign the Princeton Geniza Project, de-siloing the PGP’s images, metadata and transcriptions and rethinking the research experience at the front and back ends.
She teaches graduate classes on Hebrew and Arabic paleography and diplomatics, an undergraduate lecture course on the material culture of medieval Cairo, and an undergraduate seminar on the Geniza and research methods. She has recently taken an interest in Arabic codicology and the provenance of Arabic manuscripts, especially Princeton’s, the largest collection of Middle Eastern manuscripts in North America, and will pilot a graduate-level Introduction to Arabic Manuscripts in Fall 2021. Her most recent book is The Lost Archive: Traces of a Caliphate in a Cairo Synagogue.