Richard W. Bulliet is a witty professor of Middle Eastern history. He teaches a class on the domestication of animals and frequently proposes controversial theories like "Islamo-Christian Civilization". Many of his lectures are composed in his head just before class and consist primarily of colorful personal anecdotes.
Bulliet is a dynamo of grondbreaking academic theory, having proved that camels changed the course of the world. He is one of only two professors (along with the late J. W. Smit) to have taught all four major Core Curriculum courses (including Lit Hum, Contemporary Civilization, Art Hum and Music Hum). It comes as no surprise, then, that he is one of the professors who teach the Nobility and Civility colloquium.
Bulliet is also at the forefront of pathmaking international diplomacy. He once demonstrated the falsehood of Samuel Huntington's "Clash of Civilizations" thesis to what he describes as a standing-room only lecture at the UN. He was also appointed the mediator in a National Geographic map dispute pitting Iran against the Arab states over the name of the Persian, or Arabian, Gulf. More recently, he served as a mediator between Columbia and the Iranian government to facilitate the 2007 visit of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
His office, in IAB, is rumored to be among the largest of any Columbia faculty member. It is so large that he has had it partitioned into multiple rooms and has furnished it with an extensive collection of glass camels, among other accoutrements of his 32-year tenure.
Bulliet's son, a Columbia alum, works for the New York Post, a shame Bulliet attributes to said son's failure to get into Harvard.