The Department of Middle East Studies mourns the loss of Michael Bonner (1952-2019), Professor of Islamic History, Department of Middle East Studies and Professor of History, College of Literature, Science, and the Arts. He was a member of the department for thirty years, having arrived in 1989, and has shaped it as a teacher, scholar, and leading administrator. He was director of the Center for Middle Eastern and North African Studies 1997-2000 and 2001-2003, Acting Chair of (then) Near Eastern Studies 2007-8, and Chair 2010-2014. He was instrumental in bringing the Arabic Flagship Program to Michigan, for which he served as Acting Director 2012-2014.
Michael Bonner will be remembered as a generous and creative teacher and as an innovative scholar of early Islam, the author of several monographs and many articles, but his interest and erudition knew no bounds. Those who knew him admired his scholarship, his polyglotism, his wit, and his ability to enjoy life and all its good things, books, wine, music, hiking, and so much more. We are devastated that it had to end so suddenly and so early. We have lost a true scholar and intellectual, and a true friend.
The funeral service for Michael will be held Friday, June 7 at Temple Beth Emeth in Ann Arbor at 2:00pm with Rabbi Josh Whinston presiding.