Hello Foreign Exchanges listeners! I’m very pleased to be joined for another of our irregular podcast interviews by Elizabeth Urban, Associate Professor of History at West Chester University in Pennsylvania. She’s written a fantastic book, Conquered Populations in Early Islam: Non-Arabs, Slaves and the Sons of Slave Mothers that offers a window into the experiences of marginalized peoples during a period in which Islam and the society that formed around it were still taking shape. Elizabeth and I were grad school colleagues so it was great to reconnect with her for this interview, and I think we have a very interesting chat about a topic that deserves more attention. We talk about the challenge of early Islamic sources, the changing position of the mawali as Islamic society developed, and the utility of studying these groups within a broader category of “unfree peoples” rather than as discrete units. Enjoy!