Jo-Ann Gross

Visiting Research Collaborator
Visiting Fellow


Field: Middle Eastern and Central Eurasian History
Interests: Ismailism in the Pamir, Sufism and shrine culture 
In Residence: Fall 2015 - Summer 2019

Director of the Badakhshan Manuscript Digitization Project, Prof. Jo-Ann Gross is a vital and active member of the Center’s research community. The Badakhshan project centers on the genealogical culture of documentation of the Nizari Ismaili pirs and khalifas of Tajikistan and Afghanistan. In 2017, it was awarded a three-year National Endowment for the Humanities Collaborative Research Award, “Ismailism in Badakhshan: A Genealogical and Documentary History.” Her research focuses on early modern Iran and Central Asia, with an emphasis on Ismailism in the Pamir and the social history of Sufism, shrines and hagiographic narrative traditions. She has published widely on aspects of Sufism in Central Asia and the role of the Naqshbandi Sufi order, shrine culture in Tajikistan and Ismailism in Badakhshan. A longtime member of the Board of Directors of the Association for the Study of Persianate Societies (ASPS) and a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Persianate StudiesJo-Ann serves as a knowledgeable resource for students and colleagues in the Center and its affiliated programs. 

Learn more about the Badakhshan Manuscript Digitization Project.

Selected Publications

Book Cover - Sufism in Central Asia

Sufism in Central Asia: New Perspectives on Sufi Traditions, 15th-21st Centuries
o-edited with Devin DeWeese (Brill Publishers, 2018)



Book Cover - The Letters of Khwaja ‘Ubayd Allah Ahrar and his Associates - Khwaja ‘Ubayd Allah Ahrar kneeling with a book in the mountains

The Letters of Khwaja ‘Ubayd Allah Ahrar and his Associates
Co-authored with Asom Urunbaev (Brill, 2002)



Book Cover - Muslims in Central Asia - patterned cover with black and white image of people reading

Muslims in Central Asia: Expressions of Identity and Change
Ed. Jo-Ann Gross (Duke UP, 1992).