Medieval / Middle Period Central Eurasia is my region of study and my research interests include the waning of nomadic military elite in Central Eurasia and the institutional and social changes that preceded the modern era. Key to my explanation of this period, approximately 1300 – 1600, is a reexamination of the role of technology in institutional change, particularly gunpowder and gunpowder weapons, which I view as an indicator rather than a cause in many cases.
More generally, I approach the study of Central Eurasia as one important component in the ancient and pre-modern global economy. Scholars that influence my approach include Marshall G.S. Hodgson, William McNeill, Andre Gunder Frank, Barton C. Hacker, Janet Abu-Lughod, K.N. Chaudhuri and Peter Jackson. An important component of my work at the University of Chicago is 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 whose mission is to encourage and provide support for Central Eurasian studies at all levels. I believe strongly in the value of community scholarship and CCES provides a rich environment for intellectual collaboration. My own scholarship is strongly shaped by my CCES colleagues, helping me to functionally employ an inclusive and world-historical view of Central Eurasian history.
One of the components central to my work is compiling a useful and up-to-date bibliography of literature (scholarship) in Mongol studies. This list is changes as I add new resources and eliminate the obsolete or those that are no longer relevant.