Ismail Fajrie Alatas is assistant professor of Middle Eastern and Islamic studies at New York University. He holds a Ph.D. in anthropology and history from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor; an M.A. in history from the National University of Singapore; and a B.A. (Hons) from the University of Melbourne, Australia. His research explores the intersections of religious authority, social formation, mobility, semiotics, and communicative practice with a focus on Islamic Law, Sufism, and the Ḥaḍramī diaspora in Indonesia (that is, those who trace their origins to the Ḥaḍramawt valley of southern Yemen). He has published articles in Comparative Studies in Society and History, Indonesia and the Malay World, Journal of Islamic Studies, Die Welt des Islams, and Studia Islamika as well as written several entries for The Encyclopedia of Islam.
Anne M. Blackburn is professor of South Asia studies and Buddhist studies in the Department of Asian Studies at Cornell University and has served as director of the Cornell University South Asia Program. She taught at the University of South Carolina before joining Cornell’s faculty. She received her B.A. from Swarthmore College and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Chicago. Blackburn studies Buddhism in Southern Asia, with a special interest in Buddhist monastic culture and Buddhist participation in networks involving Sri Lanka before and during colonial presence in the region. Her publications include Buddhist Learning and Textual Practice in Eighteenth-Century Lankan Monastic Culture (Princeton, 2001), Approaching the Dhamma: Buddhist Texts and Practices in South and Southeast Asia, coedited with Jeffrey Samuels (BPS Pariyatti Editions, 2003), and Locations of Buddhism: Colonialism and Modernity in Sri Lanka (Chicago, 2010). She is working on a new project, “Making Buddhist Kingdoms across the Indian Ocean, 1200–1500,” supported in part by an ACLS Fellowship.
Martin van Bruinessen is professor emeritus of comparative studies of modern Muslim societies at Utrecht University. He is an anthropologist with a strong interest in politics, history, and philology, and has conducted extensive fieldwork in Kurdistan and Indonesia. 210
Kenneth Dean is Raffles Professor of Humanities, head of the Department of Chinese Studies, and Religion and Globalisation Research Cluster leader in the Asia Research Institute of the National University of Singapore. He is the author of several books and articles on Daoism and Chinese local communal religion, religious epigraphy, and Chinese temple networks in Southeast Asia. He directed a documentary film titled Bored in Heaven about ritual sensation (2010). His most recent publication (with Hue Guan Thye) is Chinese Epigraphy in Singapore, 1819–1911 (2 vols.) (NUS Press, 2017).
R. Michael Feener is the Sultan of Oman Fellow at the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies and Islamic Centre lecturer in the History Faculty at the University of Oxford. He was formerly leader of the Religion and Globalisation Research Cluster at the Asia Research Institute and associate professor in the Department of History at the National University of Singapore. He has also taught at Reed College and the University of California, Riverside, and held visiting professor positions and research fellowships at Harvard, Kyoto University, École des hautes études en sciences sociales (Paris), the University of Copenhagen, the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art (Honolulu), and the International Institute for Asian Studies (IIAS) in Leiden, the Netherlands. He has published extensively in the fields of Islamic studies and Southeast Asian history as well as on postdisaster reconstruction, religion, and development.
Nancy K. Florida, professor of Javanese and Indonesian studies at the University of Michigan, is a historian whose work concerns Javanese and Indonesian history, historiography, and literary studies. She was director of the university’s Islamic Studies Program (2010–2012). Her publications include Writing the Past, Inscribing the Future: History as Prophecy in Colonial Java (Duke, 1995) and Javanese Literature in Surakarta Manuscripts, 3 vols. (Cornell SEAP, 1993, 2000, 2012).
Amy Holmes-Tagchungdarpa is associate professor of religious studies and Asian studies at Occidental College. She received her B.A. from Victoria University, Wellington, New Zealand, and her Ph.D. from the Australian National University. She researches the cosmological and material encounters that have shaped trans-Himalayan cultures and their global connections, with a focus on Buddhist communities, language, gender, and material culture. Her first book was The Social Life of Tibetan Biography: Textuality, Community, and Authority in the Lineage of Tokden Shakya Shri (Lexington, 2014), and her current project explores printing, language, and materiality in the making of Himalayan communities.
Alexey Kirichenko is assistant professor at the Institute of Asian and African Studies, Moscow State University, Russia. He received his doctorate in history 211from Moscow State University in 2003 with a thesis focused on the study of Burmese chronicles. His primary research focus is on field and archival work in Burma dealing with monastic Buddhism, manuscript culture, Buddhist religious infrastructure, historiography, and cultural memory. His latest publications include La vie du Bouddha: Peintures murales de Haute-Birmanie (with Cristophe Munier-Gaillard and Minbu Aung Kyaing; Éditions Findakly, 2017); “Historiography: Burma,” in Brill’s Encyclopaedia of Buddhism, vol. 1 (Brill Academic Publishers, 2015); and “Dynamics of Monastic Mobility and Networking in Seventeenth- and Eighteenth-Century Upper Burma,” in Buddhist Dynamics in Premodern and Early Modern Southeast Asia, edited by D. Christian Lammerts (Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, Singapore, 2015).
Torsten Tschacher is junior professor of Muslim culture and society in South Asia at Freie Universität Berlin, Germany. His research focuses on the history and textual traditions of Tamil-speaking Muslim societies in South India, Sri Lanka, Singapore, and Malaysia. He is currently engaged in a study of early Islamic textual cultures in Tamil between 1572 and 1842. His most recent publications include “Can ‘Om’ Be an Islamic Term? Translations, Encounters, and Islamic Discourse in Vernacular South Asia,” South Asian History and Culture 5 (2014); “From Script to Language: The Three Identities of ‘Arabic-Tamil,’” South Asian History and Culture 8 (2017); an edited volume (with Deepra Dandekar), Islam, Sufism and Everyday Politics of Belonging in South Asia (Routledge, 2016), and a monograph titled Race, Religion, and the “Indian Muslim” Predicament in Singapore (Routledge, 2018).212