Kristina L. Richardson, PhD

Winner of 2022 Dan David Prize


Associate Professor, History

Queens College, City University of New York

65-30 Kissena Blvd.

Queens, NY 11367-1597

Associate Professor, History

CUNY Graduate Center

365 Fifth Ave.

New York, NY 10016-4309

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As an historian, my research has focused on non-elite peoples of the medieval Middle East. My first book Difference and Disability in the Medieval Islamic World (2012) traced a network of writings by and about disabled people from the ninth to the fifteenth centuries. I continued my work in disability studies with articles about blue- and green-eyed people (2015), a sixteenth-century Arabic signed alphabet (2017) and on disabilities arising from domestic violence (2019).

This engagement with disability studies deepened my sensitivity to the nuances of classical Arabic and confirmed that I could find sources by and about non-elites. My next project centered on a study of a Syrian weaver’s sixteenth-century Arabic notebook, which Boris Liebrenz and I co-edited as The Notebook of Kamāl al-Dīn the Weaver (2021). Drawing on this source, I have published articles on a dialect of travelling people (2017) and Armenian traders in Aleppo (2022) and a second monograph. In Roma in the Medieval Islamic World (2022), I not only propose a new way of conceptualizing the history of medieval travelling groups, but also argue for the central role they played in Europe’s early print culture.

I am currently preparing a study on race, labor, and piety in early Islamic Basra.