Paul M. Cobb, currently the Graduate Group Chair, is a social and cultural historian of the pre-modern Islamic world. His areas of interest include the history of memory, historiography, Islamic relations with the West, and travel and exploration. He is, in particular, a recognized authority on the history of the medieval Levant and of the Crusades in their Islamic context. He is the author of numerous books and articles, including  White Banners: Contention in ‘Abbasid Syria, 750-880 (SUNY Press, 2001); Usama ibn Munqidh: Warrior-Poet of the Age of Crusades  (Oneworld, 2005); and The Book of Contemplation: Islam and the Crusades, a translation of the “memoirs” and other works of Usama ibn Munqidh (Penguin Classics, 2008). He is also the co-editor (with Wout van Bekkum) of Strategies of Medieval Communal Identity: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam (Peeters, 2003) and (with Antoine Borrut) of Umayyad Legacies: History and Memory from Syria to Spain (E. J. Brill, 2010). The Race for Paradise: An Islamic History of the Crusades was published by Oxford University Press in 2014. Most recently, he translated Ahmad ibn Wadih al-Ya‘qūbī's , The Book of Regions (Kitāb al-Buldān) in The Works of al-Ya‘qūbī (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 2018).

He is currently the Vice-President of Middle East Medievalists and serves as a member of the Editorial Board of the Bulletin d’Etudes Orientales and as a member of the Advisory Council of the Schoenberg Insitute for Manuscript Studies.. He has received fellowships from, among others, the NEH, Fulbright, and the Guggenheim Foundation.