Institut für Iranistik / Institute of Iranian Studies Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften
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Dr. Paolo Sartori
Dr. Paolo Sartori
Telefon   0043 1 51581 6516
Telefax   0043 1 51581 6520
    Curriculum Vitae

Paolo Sartori specializes in the social history of Iran and Central Asia from the early modern period to the present. He completed a Ph.D. in Islamic Studies at the University of Rome ‘la Sapienza’ in 2006.

His first monograph is concerned with the study of the derivative discourse on nationalism as reflected in the periodical literature published by Central Asian scholars prior to the Bolshevik revolution. In this study Sartori argues that to disentangle the so-called “modernists” (the Jadids) from other, purportedly different, reformist currents is unhelpful, because it overlooks that the allegedly more rigorist and revivalist scholars operating in Russian Central Asia were, in many ways, as modern as the “modernists”.

His second book addresses the history of law among the Muslim communities of 19th- and early 20th century Central Asia. This work is a wide-range assessment of bureaucratic and judicial practices which changed Muslims’ legal consciousness under tsarist rule. In looking at how colonial subjects interacted with Russian authorities and local officials, he seeks out to reconstruct the social dynamics which allowed for changes in the sense of rights and legal entitlements among Muslims. This work also engages contemporary academic debates on legal pluralism, colonialism, imperial, and global history.

His current major project (‘Seeing Like an Archive: Documents and Forms of Governance in Islamic Central Asia’) looks at the Qunghrat principality in Khorezm (in present-day Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan) as a pre-modern Islamic documentary regime. This project received the 2013 START prize. Within the framework of this project, Sartori is now writing a book on the meaning of “locality” in Khorezm which explores how visions of sovereignty, historical consciousness, and sacred geography were articulated in the region from the early-modern to the late Soviet period.

Since 2013 he is the editor-in-chief of the Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient (Brill)

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