John F. Robertson received his B.A. in history from St. Joseph’s College in 1971, and his M.A. (1977) and Ph.D. (1981) from the University of Pennsylvania.

Office: Powers 205
Phone: (989) 774–1145
Office Hours: pdf

Research and Teaching Interests

Professor Robertson’s research interests focus principally on the social and economic history of the ancient Middle East, with particular concentration on ancient Mesopotamian systems of social and economic organization and intra-societal tensions and conflict during the third to first millennia B.C.E. His research also includes early urbanization and state formation, and cross-cultural interaction in the ancient Middle East and Egypt, as well as the Bronze Age Aegean. His interest in the social and economic history of the ancient world also encompasses the Classical Mediterranean, Hellenistic, Roman/Byzantine, Parthian/Sassanid, and early Islamic Middle East.

He also pursues a significant scholarly and teaching interest in the modern (18th- to 21st-century) Greater Middle East, with particular focus on the history of the relationships between the Middle East and the West, the Arab-Israeli relationship and conflict, and the impact of Euro-American actions and policies in the region. In that role, he has published numerous essays and been interviewed and cited in diverse media outlets, including the Associated Press, CNN, and the Voice of Russia.