Jessica Chen received her B.A. in Religion from Carleton College and has completed training at the Inter-University Program in Beijing, the Middlebury Arabic Language School, and the Persian Critical Language Program in Tajikistan, Central Asia. Her research interests include the social and intellectual history of Islam, Sufism, Chinese religions, and Central and Southeast Asia.
Jessica’s dissertation, “Chinese Heirs to Muhammad: writing Islamic history in early modern China,” addresses the relationship between history production and identity formation among 19th century Muslims. The project draws upon Persian, Arabic, and Chinese sources including family genealogies, biographies of the Prophet Muhammad, and epitaph collections to reshape our understanding of Islamic history through the perspective of those living in Asia.
Advisor: Shahzad Bashir
Teaching: Sufi Islam (Fall, 2015)