I study the history and historiography of Muslim peoples and communities, primarily in Central Asia, but also in adjacent regions (in Russia, India, China, and parts of the Middle East), since the Mongol conquest to the present. I focus on self-representation in diverse sources, aiming to understand the boundaries that defined groups and peoples as they described and justified claims to authority; the performance of rituals and customs; the allocation and transmission of labels and classifications (religious, ethnic); the espousal of rhetorical strategies; the production of genealogies (biological, spiritual); the shaping of myths of origin; the celebration (or censure) of sources of inspiration, and the commemoration of shared traumatic events.

Research Topics:

  • History & historiography of Central Asia
  • Ethnic & religious identities: Central and South Asia, the Middle East
  • Self-representation in Muslim literary traditions
  • Turks and Iranians in the Asian sphere


Past Affiliations
Asian Studies, Asian Studies, Asian Studies, Middle Eastern Studies, Russian, History, Religious Studies
PhD, Indiana University, 2004