My dissertation project was a study of the reign of Ögödei Qa’an (1229-1241), third son and successor to Činggis Qan. This study is both a biography and an examination of Mongol empire, wherein I argue that empire first formed during Ögödei’s reign through the administrative and military institutions under him. Balancing rule over newly conquered urban civilizations with the necessity of continued conquest and expansion, Ögödei was faced with challenges on a continental scale. If ever there was unity in the Mongol Empire, it was only during the time of Ögödei, when a diverse collection of determined military and bureaucratic leaders were able to turn the successful military conquests of Činggis Qan into empire.
An important component of my work at the University of Chicago was the Committee on Central Eurasian Studies (CCES), a cooperative organization made up of faculty, staff, undergraduate and graduate students from varying disciplines, departments, divisions and institutions. Our mission was to encourage and provide support for Central Eurasian studies at all levels. I believe strongly in the value of community scholarship and CCES provided a rich environment for intellectual collaboration. My own scholarship was strongly shaped by my CCES colleagues, helping me to functionally employ an inclusive and world-historical view of Central Eurasian history.
Central to my work on Ögödei Qa’an is a useful and up-to-date bibliography of literature (scholarship) in Mongol studies. This list changes as I add new resources and remove the obsolete.