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Dr. Jo-Ann Gross awarded 2017 NEH grant

Congratulations to Dr. Jo-Ann Gross, Department of History, who was awarded a 3-year grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities for her project entitled “Ismailism in Badakhshan: A Genealogical and Documentary History.”

As described by Dr. Gross, “this 3-year collaborative project, with Umed Mamadsherzodshoev of the Institute of Humanities, Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Tajikistan, Khorogh, Badakhshan, Tajikistan and Daniel Beben, Assistant Professor, Nazarbayev University, Astana, Kazakhstan, involves a study of original, privately held Badakhshani Ismaili ( a minority branch of Shi’i Islam) genealogical histories from Tajikistan and Afghanistan dating from the 16th-20th centuries, in addition to letters and financial documents associated with them. Our goal is to render a defined corpus of these Persian-language texts legible as historical sources by digitalizing them; identifying their features; defining the local genres of genealogy, letter writing and document production as historical practices; and analyzing them as a source for local knowledge of the Ismaili tradition of Badakhshan. We will present our results in a co-authored printed book and in the creation of an open access digital repository at Princeton University Library. This will be the first corpus of Ismaili documents from Badakhshan available online in transcription and English translation. This project will have intellectual significance for the historical study of Ismaili Shiʿism, the history of Central Eurasia, and the study of cultures of documentation in the Islamic world.

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