Paolo Sartori holds an MA from the University of Venice “Ca’ Foscari” in Oriental Languages and Literatures (1998) and a Ph.D. in Islamic Studies (History and Philology) from the University of Rome “la Sapienza” (2006). From 2007 to 2011 he has been a Volkswagen Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Martin-Luther University in Halle/Wittenberg. Since 2011 he is Fellow of the Institute of Iranian Studies. In 2013 he was awarded the Start Prize by the Austrian Science Fund for his six-year project “Seeing like an Archive: Documents and Forms of Governance in Islamic Central Asia”. In 2014 he won the Best Publication Award at the Austrian Academy of Sciences. In 2016 he was elected member of the Austrian Young Academy. He is Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient (Brill) and co-editor of the Handbook of Oriental Studies Series on Central Asia (Brill).
- Epistemologies of writing, documentation, and archives in the Persianate world (15th-19th Centuries)
- Locality and remoteness in modern Central Asia (18th-21st Centuries)
- Islamic law in imperial Russia
- Soviet Islam
- Seeing Like an Archive: Documents and Forms of Governance in Islamic Central Asia (START Projekt, FWF)
- “On Madrasas, Legitimation, and Islamic Revival in 19th-Century Khorezm: Some Preliminary Observations,” Eurasian Studies 14/1-2 (2017): 98-134.
- “Exploring the Islamic Juridical Field in Imperial Russia,” guest-edited double theme issue of Islamic Law and Society 24/1-2 (2017).
- Visions of Justice: Sharīʿa and Cultural Change in Russian Central Asia (Leiden: Brill, 2016).
- “Seeing Like a Khanate: On Archives, Cultures of Documentation, and Nineteenth Century Khvarazm,” Journal of Persianate Studies 9/2 (2016): 228-57.
- “Ijtihād in Bukhara: Central Asian Jadidism and Local Genealogies of Cultural Change, Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient 59/1-2 (2016): 193-236.
- “The Politics of Ambiguity: What Does It Mean to Be a Russian Protectorate?” Ab Imperio (2016/3): 118-64 [with Ulfat Abdurasulov].
- “The Imperial Codification Project and Its Own Undoing: Custom and Sharia in the Qazaq Steppe,” Ab Imperio (2015/2): 63-105 [with Pavel Shabley].
- “Constructing Colonial Legality in Russian Central Asia: on Guardianship,” Comparative Studies in Society and History 56/2 (2014): 419-47.
- “Towards a History of the Muslims’ Soviet Union: A View from Central Asia,” Die Welt des Islams 50-3-4 (2010): 315-34.
- “Waqf in Turkestan: the Colonial Legacy and the Fate of an Islamic Institution in Early-Soviet Central Asia, 1917-1924,” Central Asian Survey 26/4 (2007): 475-98 [with Niccoló Pianciola].