My name is Robin Reich and I am a historian, hobby cook, and lizard person masquerading as a human.
I am currently a fourth-year PhD candidate in History at Columbia University, where I study medieval Mediterranean history. For my professional experience, see my CV. For updates on my research, see my Scribi posts. Now in the ABD (all but dissertation) or MPhil phase, I am cutting away from Columbia’s Morningside Heights campus to research and write my dissertation, which is a study of how people moved knowledge about science through Sicily in the twelfth century. I am exploring how much of that knowledge was transferred via direct translation of scientific texts from Arabic to Latin, and how much moved through experiences like working with metals or trading medicinal spices.
Since before I began this academic path, I have been deeply interested in education – how people learn and what I can do to facilitate enjoyable engagement in the classroom. See my Teaching Portfolio [coming soon] for my experience as an educator and resources I have developed for teaching history. For my detailed thoughts on teaching as I work through issues that eventually become syllabi and resources, see my Teaching posts.
When I’m not thinking about history or teaching (ok, sometimes then too) I spend a lot of time cooking and reading the internet. For recipes of what I’m cooking now, as well as instructional tips for cooking in small, ill-equipped kitchens and general thoughts on how to simplify cooking in a foodie world, see my Barebones Cooking posts. When I’m reading the internet, that’s when this lizard person really shines through. Thanks to the broad interests of my friends and family, I have strong opinions on video games, genre fiction, food news, politics, gender issues, pop culture – you name it! And you can choose to ignore them! But if you find them compelling, see my Robin Reads the Internet posts.
I suppose when you take away all of these things, I’m also just a person. And occasionally, to balance out all the craziness of academic life, I like to talk about my personal experiences. Fair warning, a lot of this is about having a family while in grad school. If that appeals to you, see my Personal posts.