• Charles G. Häberl
  • Charles G. Häberl
  • Professor
  • Phone: 848-445-4310
  • Office hours: Wednesday
  • Room #: 6160
  • Office address: 15 Seminary Place, College Avenue Campus

    Dr. Häberl is Professor of African, Middle Eastern, and South Asian Languages and Literatures (AMESALL) and Religion. He was born and raised in the State of New Jersey, where he has lived for most of his life, but received his PhD in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations from Harvard University. In addition to serving as chair of the department from 2013-2019 and its undergraduate director in 2023-2024, he has also served as the Director of the Center for Middle Eastern Studies from 2009-2012, and currently serves on the board of the Endangered Language Alliance of NYC. In the past he has served as an Undergraduate Fulbright Faculty Advisor and member of the Advisory Committee for Study Abroad Programs in the Middle East at Rutgers, as well as a juror and panelist for the United States Department of State's "Critical Language Scholarships for Intensive Summer Institutes," and as Near East Regional Director for the Endangered Languages Catalogue. In 2007, he was the author of the first Title VIA Undergraduate International Studies and Foreign Language (UISFL) program grant to support instruction on Iranian Studies ever awarded by the US Department of Education. Together with James McGrath of Butler University, he received two grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to create a critical edition and translation of the Mandaean Book of John, in 2010 and again in 2012. In 2016, he was an Anna-Maria Kellen Fellow at the American Academy in Berlin. In 2021, 2022, and 2023, he was elected President of the International Linguistic Association, the publisher of WORD (Taylor & Francis). In 2022, he was a Willis F. Doney Member of the School of Historical Studies at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, NJ, USA.

    The undergraduate courses he teaches address subjects such as Middle Eastern languages and literatures (including Arabic and Aramaic), folklore, and minorities in the Middle East. His unusual research profile (combining traditional disciplines such as palaeography, epigraphy, and the history of religions, as well as emergent ones such as documentary linguistics) informs his teaching on ancient and modern communities and their traditions, allowing him the opportunity to discuss their origins and early history as well as the contemporary challenges they face today.

    In addition to undergraduate courses, he has also advised graduate students and offered independent studies in various dialects of Aramaic (principally Biblical Aramaic and the Aramaic of Targum Onkelos) through the Jewish Studies Department, within which he is an affiliate member. During the summers of 2017 and 2018, he taught courses on another form of Aramaic, the Mandaic language (ancient and modern) to undergraduates, grad students, and faculty at the National University Ostroh Academy, and in the summer of 2019 he also taught Mandaic at the National Research University Higher School of Economics in Moscow. 

    Dr. Häberl's primary academic focus is upon the languages of the Middle East, both ancient and modern, and ethnic, linguistic, and religious minorities from the region. He has conducted field work with speakers of several different Semitic and Iranian languages. He is a member of the American Oriental Society (AOS), the Middle East Studies Association (MESA), the Society for Biblical Literature (SBL), the American Academy of Religion (AAR), and the North American Conference on Afroasiatic Linguistics (NACAL). He is a frequent attendee and occasional speaker at their annual meetings, and has convened the NACAL annual meeting on three occasions (San Antonio, 2007, Chicago, 2008, and at Rutgers in 2012).

    He has published research on Aramaic epigraphy, incantation texts, orality and literacy, Middle Eastern folklore, dialects of Neo-Aramaic, and comparative Semitic linguistics in journals such as the Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research, the Journal of the American Oriental Society, the Journal of Semitic Studies, Encyclopaedia Iranica, and Numen. His first book, The Neo-Mandaic Dialect of Khorramshahr (Harrassowitz, 2009) is the first account of a previously undocumented dialect of Neo-Mandaic, and the most thorough description of any Neo-Mandaic dialect. His latest publications are a two-volume critical edition, translation, and commentary of the Mandaean Book of John (De Gruyter, 2020), prepared together with Prof. James McGrath, and a monograph on the Book of Kings and the Explanations of This World for the series Translated Texts for Historians (Liverpool University Press, 2022).

    He has a personal interest in the history of constructed languages (or "conlangs"), like Volapük and Esperanto, which has resulted in publications on Bālaybalan, a 16th century conlang based upon the vocabulary of Arabic, Persian, and Turkish, with a synthetic grammar, and Unial, an early 20th century conlang based upon the vocabulary of the Romance languages, with an analytic grammar.

  • Selected Books and Edited Volumes

    Language Diversity in Iran: New Texts and Perspectives from Non-Iranian Languages   kings  mbj
        (with James F. McGrath)
    Language Diversity in Iran: New Texts and Perspectives from Non-Iranian Languages (2024) The Book of Kings and the Explanations of This World (2022) The Mandaean Book of John (2020)
     ijsl  hetzron  khorramshahr
    (with Maryam Borjian)    
    Middle Eastern Languages in Diasporic USA Communities (2016) Afroasiatic Studies in Memory of Robert Hetzron (2009) The Neo-Mandaic Dialect of Khorramshahr (2009)

    Selected Articles and Book Chapters



    • The Enclosed Peoples of Mandaean Lore, pp. 243–276 in Gog and Magog: Contributions toward a World History of an Apocalyptic Motif, eds. Lutz Greisiger, Andrew Mein and Georges Tamer (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam - Tension, Transmission, Transformation [JCIT] 17; Berlin: De Gruyter, 2023) Version of Record
    • (with Anna Bromirskaya and Sergey Loesov) The Western Aramaic Context of a Famous Lullaby, in Aramaic Studies 21.2 (2023): 205–232 Version of Record
    • Oni studu pli profunde la arabajn pruntojn en la moderna okcidenta, pp. 71–81 in Liber amicorum Fabricio A. Pennacchietti dicatus, ed. Fabio Gasparini, Federico Gobbo, Evgeniya Gutova, Alessandro Mengozzi, Marco Moriggi, and Mauro Tosco (Kervan – International Journal of Afro-Asiatic Studies 27.2; Torino: UNITO, 2023)
    • Hebraisms in Mandaic, pp. 26–49 in Linguistic and Philological Studies of the Hebrew Bible and its Manuscripts in honor of Gary A. Rendsburg, ed. Vincent D. Beiler and Aaron D. Rubin (Studia Semitica Neerlandica; Leiden: Brill, 2023) Proofs | Version of Record


    • The Inner Harran and the Writing of Mandaean History, pp. 278–288 in Bibliotheca Orientalis 79.3–4 (2022) (Leuven: Peeters)
    • (with Alexey Duntsov and Sergey Loesov) A Modern Western Aramaic Account of the Syrian Civil War, Word 68.4 (2022): 359–394  (London and New York: Taylor & Francis) Proofs | Version of Record
    • (with K. Kashintseva and Sergey Loesov) Who Killed Osman Xate?, in Aramaic Studies 20 (2022): 1–61 Version of Record
    • Meryey, Standing at the Boundary, in Zimrat JAH: A Tribute to Jo Anne Hackett, Jonathan Kaplan and Na'ama Pat-El (eds.), a special issue of Maarav: A Journal for the Study of the Northwest Semitic Languages and Literatures 25.1–2 (2022): 65–89 (Rolling Hills Estates, CA: Western Academic Press) Proofs
    • (with Sergey Loesov) The Fable of the Beetle in Contemporary Aramaic and Kurmanji, in Aramaic Studies 20 (2022): 72–99 Proofs | Version of Record



    • (with Nikita Kuzin, Sergey Loesov, and Alexey Lyavdansky) A Neo-Aramaic Version of a Kurdish Folktale, in the Journal of Semitic Studies 65 (2020): 473–493 (Oxford University Press, on behalf of the University of Manchester)


    • Writing in a sacred tongue: inter-aramaic alloglottography, in Word (Taylor & Francis)
    • Epiphanius and the Nazoraeans, in Alpha: Studies in Early Christianity 2 (2019): 61–63 (Warring States Project, University of Massachusetts at Amherst)
    • Mandaic, pp. 679–710 in The Semitic Languages (2nd edition), eds. John Huehnergard and Na'ama Pat-El (London and New York: Routledge, 2019)







    • Neo-Mandaic, pp. 725–737 in Semitic Languages: An International Handbook/Ein internationales Handbuch, Handbücher zur Sprach- und Kommunikationswissenschaft 36, ed. Stefan Weninger in collaboration with Geoffrey Khan, Michael P. Streck, and Janet C.E. Watson (Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter, 2011)



    • The Production and Reception of a Mandaic Incantation, in Afroasiatic Studies in Memory of Robert Hetzron: Proceedings of the 35th Annual Meeting of the North American Conference on Afroasiatic Linguistics, ed. Charles Häberl (Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars, 2009), pp. 168–89



  • Courses: