Robert Riggs is a specialist in Shi’ite history in Lebanon, Syria and Iraq. His research has been supported by the De Karman Foundation, The American Academic Research Institute in Iraqi (TAARII), the Horowitz Foundation for Social Policy, The British Academy, and the British Society for Middle East Studies.
His publications appear in the Journal of Arabic Literature, the Journal of Shi‘i Islamic Studies, Religion Compass and the Review of Middle East Studies and he has contributed chapters to several collected volumes. His research has been presented at the annual meetings of the Middle East Studies Association, the American Academy of Religion and the American Oriental Society as well as a variety of international conferences such as the World Congress on Middle East Studies. He is currently working on a project examining the socio-political power structures within Arab Shi‘i communities.
Riggs teaches courses on Islamic History, Introduction to Islam, Introduction to Western Religions, Political Economy of the Middle East, Gender in Islamic Societies, Islamic Law, Introduction to the Qur’an and Hadith, and Islam in East Asia for the program on World Religions at the College of Public and International Affairs (CPIA) and courses on Culture and International Development and Socio-Political Implications of Religion in the M.A. program in Global Development and Peace. In all of these courses, students engage with religion in its socio-cultural and historical complexity, and are challenged to consider the study of religion within a broader humanistic perspective.