Hamilton Lugar School of Global and International Studies

Central Eurasian Studies

Ron Sela

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Associate Professor, Central Eurasian Studies
Director, Islamic Studies Program
Adjunct Associate Professor, Department of History

Office: Hamilton Lugar School of Global & International Studies 2026
Phone: (812) 856-7017
E-mail: rsela@indiana.edu
Web: http://rsela.wordpress.com/


PhD, Indiana University, 2004

Current Doctoral Students

Research Interests

  • History and historiography of Islamic Central Asia, 16th-20th centuries;
  • Political and cultural self-representation in Muslim literary traditions;
  • Authority & legitimacy in Islam;
  • The “early modern” Muslim world.

Courses Recently Taught

  • Introduction to Central Asian History
  • Central Asia under Russian Rule
  • Ethnic History of Central Asia
  • Jesus, Alexander & Other Heroes of Islam
  • Sources for the Study of Central Asian History
  • Travelers and Explorers in Central Asia
  • Research Seminar in Central Asian History
  • Identity & Conflict (International Studies)
  • Capstone Seminar (CEUS / International Studies)

Publication Highlights

The Legendary Biographies of Tamerlane: Islam and Heroic Apocrypha in Central Asia. Cambridge University Press (April, 2011).

Islamic Central Asia: An Anthology of Historical Sources (Bloomington:  Indiana University Press, 2010).  Co-edited with Scott C. Levi.

Ritual and Authority in Central Asia:  The Khan's Inauguration Ceremony.  Papers on Inner Asia no. 37 (Bloomington:  RIFIAS, 2003), 79 pp.

“Invoking the Russian Conquest of Khiva and the Massacre of the Yomut Turkmens:  The Choices of a Central Asian Historian," Asiatische Studien/Etudes Asiatiques LX:2 (2006).

“The Heavenly Stone' (Kök Tash) of Samarqand:  A Rebels' Narrative Transformed," Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society 17/1 (January 2007).

"Prescribing the Boundaries of Knowledge: Seventeenth-Century Russian Diplomatic Missions to Central Asia," in Writing Travel in Central Asian History, ed. Nile Green (Indiana University Press, 2013).

“Central Asian Muslims on Tibetan Buddhism, 16th-18th Centuries,” in Trails of the Tibetan Tradition, ed. Roberto Vitali (Amnye Machen Institute, 2014).

“Rashid al-Din’s Historiographical Legacy in the Muslim World,” in Rashid al-Din. Agent and Mediator of Cultural Exchanges in Ilkhanid Iran, ed. A. Akasoy, et al. (London: The Warburg Institute, 2013).

Current Research Projects

  • Turkic and Iranian Identities in Asia
  • A history of the “Tribal Dynasties”
  • Central Asian – Hindustani connections
  • The crisis of authority in Islam

Department of Central Eurasian Studies
Hamilton Lugar School of Global and International Studies
355 North Jordan Ave.
GA Room 3024
Bloomington, IN 47405-1105

Phone: (812) 855-2233
Fax: (812) 855-7500