Headshot of Dr.Mimi  Hanaoka

Dr. Mimi Hanaoka

Associate Professor of Religious Studies in Islam
Chair, Department of Religious Studies
  • Profile

    Mimi Hanaoka teaches Islam and Islamic history. Her first book, Authority and Identity in Medieval Islamic Historiography: Persian Histories from the Peripheries (Cambridge University Press), explains themes and literary strategies that “centered” texts from “peripheral” regions in medieval Persia. It addresses ways in which authors of narrative local histories composed in Persia during the 10th – early 15th centuries wove their communities into Islamic narratives rooted in the perceived Islamic heartlands of Iraq, Syria, and Arabia. It also considers 13th – 14th century Anatolian histories to flesh out a comparative perspective.

    Her current research project investigates the ways in which Muslim reformists in Iran and South Asia approached Japan as a non-Western model of modernity and educational reform during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.  Her research interests center on the formation and articulation of Muslim identity, local histories, dream theory, Persian and Arabic historiography, intersections between the Middle East/West Asia and East Asia, particularly Iran-Japan relations, and concepts of modernity in Islamic societies. Her teaching interests include dreams and visions in Islam, saints and sinners in Islamic literature, Islamic mysticism, Qur’an and hadith, Persian history, and Islam in America.

    Hanaoka was awarded a Transregional Research Junior Scholar Fellowship in InterAsian Contexts and Connections from the Social Science Research Council (SSRC) for 2015-2016.

  • Publications

    Professor Hanaoka's book is featured on the "New Books in Middle Eastern Studies" podcast series. Host Professor Aaron Hagler speaks with Professor Mimi Hanaoka about her book, Authority and Identity in Medieval Islamic Historiography: Persian Histories from the Periphery (Cambridge University Press, 2016).

    Journal Articles

    “Syed Ross Masood and a Japanese model for Education, Nationalism, and Modernity in Hyderabad.”  History of Education Quarterly, Volume 62, Special Issue 4: Education in the Asia-Pacific Region (November 2022): 418 – 446. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/heq.2022.29

    Professor Hanaoka's article is featured on the HEQ&A is a podcast produced by History of Education Quarterly, the official journal of the History of Education Society (USA).

    “Local Histories from the Medieval Persianate World: Memory, Legitimacy, and the Early Islamic Past.”  Mizan Vol. 3, Issue 1 (2018). (READ ARTICLE)

    “Perspectives from the Peripheries: Strategies for ‘Centering’ Persian Histories from the ‘Peripheries.’" Journal of Persianate Studies Vol. 8, Issue 1 (2015): 1-22.  doi: 10.1163/18747167-12341276.

    “Visions of Muhammad in Bukhara and Tabaristan: Dreams and Their Uses in Persian Local Histories,”  Iranian Studies 47:2 (March 2014): 289-303.  doi: 10.1080/00210862.2013.860326.

    Additional Publications

    Encyclopedia entries: “Karbalaʾ,” “ʿAlids,” “Rashidun,” “Mawla,” and “Ulamaʾ.” In The Routledge Encyclopedia of Ancient Mediterranean Religions, edited by Eric Orlin, Lisbeth Fried, Jennifer Knust, Michael Pregill, and Michael Satlow.  New York: Routledge, 2015.

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