Kristina Richardson

Full Professor, Democracy Initiative

Kristina Richardson joins UVA's Democracy Initiative this fall as the John L. Nau Professor of History and Middle Eastern and South Asian Languages and Cultures. Previously, she was Associate Professor of History at Queens College and The Graduate Center of the City University of New York. 

Richardson's research interests include non-elite people in the medieval Middle East; manuscript studies; race and labor; and craftsmanship.

She has published two monographs: Difference and Disability in the Medieval Islamic World: Blighted Bodies (2012) and Roma in the Medieval Islamic World: Literacy, Culture and Migration (2022). For this latest book she received the prestigious 2022 Dan David Prize, which is awarded for "outstanding scholarship that illuminates the past and seeks to anchor public discourse in a deeper understanding of history." With Boris Liebrenz she published The Notebook of Kamāl al-Dīn the Weaver (2021), a study and edition of a 16th-century Aleppine weaver's notebook. She is currently preparing a monograph on free and unfree Africans and South Asians in early Islamic Basra.  

Her work has also been supported by the National Endowment of the Humanities, the European Research Council, the Mellon Foundation, and the City University of New York. Professor Richardson also serves as an editor for the journal Der Islam.