Matthew Thomas Miller, PhD. is Assistant Professor of Persian Literature and Digital Humanities at Roshan Institute for Persian Studies at the University of Maryland, College Park and and an affiliate of the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities. He also serves as the Director of the Roshan Initiative in Persian Digital Humanities (PersDig@UMD) and as the co-PI for the multi-institutional Open Islamicate Texts Initiative (OpenITI) and the Persian Manuscript Initiative (PMI). He has received generous funding for these projects from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The National Endowment for the Humanities, and The Islamic Manuscript Association. His research the focuses on medieval Sufi literature; the history of sexuality, the body, sense, and affect; and digital humanities. He currently is working on a book project, entitled Affected by God: Embodied Poetics and Somatic Epistemology in Medieval Persian Sufi Literature, and a number of articles on computational or “distant reading” approaches to Persian literature and carnivalesque Sufi poetry. For more information, see his website: https://matthewthomasmiller.github.io and http://matthewthomasmiller.com


2016 PhD, Comparative Literature, Washington University in Saint Louis
2016 Graduate Certificate in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
2009 MA, Islamic and Near Eastern Studies, Washington University in Saint Louis
2007 BA, International and Area Studies (with University Honors and Phi Beta Kappa), Washington University in Saint Louis

Other Publications

Academic Publications

  • “The Poetics of the Sufi Carnival: The Rogue Lyrics (Qalandariyyāt) as Heterotopic Countergenre(s).” Al-ʿUṣūr al-Wusṭā: The Journal of Middle East Medievalists (Forthcoming 2022).

  • “The Qalandar King: Early Development of the Qalandariyyāt and Saljuq Conceptions of Kingship in Amir Moʿezzi’s Panegyric for Sharafshāh Jaʿfari.” Iranian Studies (Forthcoming 2022).

  • (with Benjamin Kiessling, Gennady Kuran, and Kader Smail), “Advances and Limitations in Open Source Arabic-Script OCR: A Case Study.” Digital Studies/Le champ numérique 11:1 (2021). doi: https://doi.org/10.16995/dscn.8094

  • (third author, with Benjamin Kiessling and Daniel Stökl Ben Ezra). “BADAM: A Public Dataset for Baseline Detection in Arabic-script Manuscripts.” HIP 2019: 5th International Workshop on Historical Document Imaging and Processing (October 20th-21st, 2019). doi: https://dl.acm.org/doi/pdf/10.1145/3352631.3352648

  • (fourth author, with Maxim Romanov, Masoumeh Seydi, and Sarah Savant), “Open Islamicate Texts Initiative: a Machine-Readable Corpus of Texts Produced the Premodern Islamicate World.” DH2019 (Utrecht University 9-12 July 2019). (Received the DH2019 prize for the most “innovative and interdisciplinary research”)

  • “Embodying the Sufi Beloved: (Homo)eroticism, Embodiment, and the Construction of Desire in the Hagiographic Tradition of ‘Erâqi.” Journal of Middle Eastern Literatures 21:1 (2018): 1-27.

  • (with Bridget Almas, Emad Khazraee, and Joshua Westgard). “Manuscript Study in Digital Spaces: The State of the Field and New Ways Forward.” Digital Humanities Quarterly 12/2 (2018). doi: http://www.digitalhumanities.org/dhq/vol/12/2/000374/000374.html

  • (with Maxim G. Romanov, Sarah Bowen Savant, and Ben Kiessling). “Important New Developments in Arabographic Optical Character Recognition (OCR).” Al-ʿUṣūr al-Wusṭā: The Journal of Middle East Medievalists 25 (2017): https://ajs.hcommons.org/deposits/item/hc:16627/

Public Scholarship

Blog Posts

  • Hello world! (Persian (Language, Literature, and Culture), 2015-01-15)

Matthew Thomas Miller

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