Jo Van Steenbergen (PhD KULeuven [Belgium], 2003) is research professor of Arabic and Islamic Studies at Ghent University (Belgium).
He engages with the social and cultural history of the pre-modern Islamic world, with a particular focus on the Islamic middle period (ca. 1000-1500), on Egypt and Syria, on the practices, discourses and structures of power elites in the sultanate of Cairo (ca. 1200-1517), and on the de/construction of grand narratives in Mamluk/Islamic history.
He was a research fellow of the Netherlands-Flemish Institute in Cairo (NVIC, 1997-8, 2003), a research assistant at KULeuven (Belgium) and the Flemish Science Foundation (FWO) (1998-2003), a lecturer at the University of St Andrews (2004-7), a senior research fellow at the Annemarie Schimmel Kolleg: History and Society during the Mamluk Era (1250-1517) (Bonn, 2014-15), and a visiting lecturer/professor at the British Museum and at the School of Oriental and African Studies (London) (2006-13), at the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes (Paris) (2008), and at the National University of Malaysia (2009).
Jo Van Steenbergen has been the recipient of a European Research Council Starting Grant (2009-14) and of a European Research Council Consolidator Grant (2016-21), for research projects on the political history and historiography of 15th-century Egypt and Syria (‘The Mamlukisation of the Mamluk Sultanate’). Jo Van Steenbergen was general editor of al-Masāq: the Journal of the Medieval Mediterranean (Routledge/Society for the Medieval Mediterranean) (2011-16). He is a programming committee member of the annual International Medieval Congress (Leeds, UK), editorial board member of Mamluk Studies (Bonn UP/ASK), The Medieval Mediterranean (Brill) and Annales Islamologiques (IFAO), and president of the Society for the Medieval Mediterranean (2018-20). He was an ERC panel member (SH6: Study of the Human Past, Starting Grant, 2018, 2020) and he is a member of the 'Conseil Scientifique' of the Institut Français d'Archéologie Orientale (IFAO) (2018-20)