Participant Info

First Name
Last Name
University of Chicago
Website URL
Pre-modern Middle East, Ummayad history, Abbasid history, Late Antiquity, Documentary cultures, Papyri, Social history, Political history, Qur'anic studies
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Personal Info

About Me

I am a historian of the premodern Middle East specializing in late antiquity and the early Islamic period. I study its documentary cultures, multilingual traditions, and endangered cultural heritages. I gained my PhD from Princeton University in 2020. My dissertation discussed various ways in which Christian religious officials and monastic organizations contributed to building strategies of local government in Umayyad and Abbasid Egypt, looking at local contexts, primarily based on Arabic and Coptic papyri. Previously, I had studied classics and earned degrees in historical and religious studies, archival studies, and Islamic history. Before joining NELC, I worked as a postdoc at the Institute for Area Studies of Leiden University, in the ERC-project “Embedding Conquest: Naturalizing Muslim Rule in the Early Islamic Empire.” I also collaborated at the ERC-project “the Qur’an as a Source for Late Antiquity,” based at Tübingen University. Between 2015 and 2022, I was a member of the academic Programming Committee of the International Quranic Studies Association.

In my research I explore questions about administrative, scribal, and archival practices involving different religious and linguistic groups in early Islamicate societies, including the documents’ modern musealization and digitization. I am interested in the concept of ‘community’ and in interrogating community-centered historical narratives about the premodern Middle East. My focus has been on documentary and archaeological heritages of southern Europe, the Mashriq, Egypt, and Turkey. I am at home in Rome and in Istanbul. Both in research and in teaching, I often put the emphasis on methodological questions and challenges, such as those connected to the materiality of written sources from the early Islamic period. I have published studies concerning Arabic, Coptic, and Greek papyri, and Christian Arabic and Coptic literary texts. My publications include a critical discussion of the study of trade in the early Islamic period, and a study of late-antique and Quranic formulaicity which interacts with digital scholarship through text reuse detection methods. My current book-project interlaces a study of local communities and localized ruling practices in the early Islamic period with historiographical questions arising from the dispersal of documentary heritages.

Recent Publications
Media Coverage
Country Focus
Expertise by Geography
Mediterranean, Middle East
Expertise by Chronology
1, 2
Expertise by Topic
Government, Libraries & Archives, Material Culture, Religion