Dr. Maya Xenia Petrovich specializes in the history of the Islamic world. She holds degrees from Hamburg, Columbia and Princeton. As an undergraduate, she also worked on historical linguistics, leading her to engage with a large number of European and Asian languages. In the course of her graduate studies at Princeton, she conducted research in archives and academic libraries in Turkey, India, Germany and the Netherlands. Her dissertation, The Land of the Foreign Padishah, defended in 2012, focuses on manifold interactions between India and Ottoman lands in the early modern period.
In July 2015, she joined the Nomadic Empires project at Oxford University as a Research Associate. Within the framework of the project, she is engaged with the history of nomadic state formation in medieval Anatolia and Iran after the Mongol invasions. She is particularly interested in the paradoxical conditions of uneasy symbiosis between bureaucrats and warriors, as well as in everyday mechanisms of violence, legitimacy and subversion in a complex religious and ethnic environment. In addition, she is currently finishing an academic monograph on western Asian mercenaries in 15th and 16th century Islamic India, particularly Gujarat and the Deccan. Her interests also include the cultivation of medical and magical knowledge and the history of textiles and spices across Eurasia.
In 2014, she published a poetry book in her native Bosnian, Indijski vrt. Several academic articles and literary essays are in preparation, as well as a second book of poetry.