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Grant number like: HB-267428-20

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Kristina Lynn Richardson
University of Virginia (Flushing, NY 11367-1597)

Awards for Faculty
Research Programs

[Grant products]

$60,000 (approved)
$60,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
2/1/2020 – 1/31/2021

Stranger Studies: 'Gypsies' and Race-Making in the Premodern Middle East

Research and writing leading to a book about Roma language and culture in the premodern Middle East.

Historians of the Roma (Gypsies) work under the assumption that the earliest written records about their subject were produced by fifteenth-century non-Roma in Europe and the Ottoman Empire. My recent work identifies the classical Arabic term for Roma and Roma-affiliated wandering groups as Strangers (ghuraba') and uses this ethnonym as an entry into the reconstruction of the community’s medieval languages and its material and intellectual cultures. This new transhistorical and transregional discipline—which I call Stranger Studies—will generate a full reimagination of the make-up of Central Asian, Middle Eastern, North African, and European societies.