Jane Mikkelson

Religious Studies Visiting Scholar; College Fellows Postdoctoral Fellow; Co-convener of the Early Modern Workshop


University of Chicago - PhD, 2019

Research Interests

My research and teaching focus on literary cultures of South Asia and the Near East, with a particular interest in comparative literature, philosophy and literature, theories of literature, translation studies, and entangled early modernities. I am committed to projects, both individual and collaborative, that bridge the studies of South Asian, Near Eastern, and European literary and intellectual cultures. In recent publications, I discuss representations of what I call fugitive experience in early modern Persian poetry; a geopolitical turn in seventeenth-century literary criticism; concepts of innovation, canonicity, and exile in Safavid and Mughal literary traditions; and the ambient availability of Avicenna’s philosophy for early modern Persian poets. My essays and translations have appeared in Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa, and the Middle EastJournal of South Asian Intellectual HistoryAsymptote; and edited volumes. A full research statement, publications, and CV can be found on my website.

I co-convene the Early Modern Workshop with Ricardo Padrón and Joshua White.


  • Imagine This: A Course on Thought Experiments (EGMT 1510)
  • Devotional Poetry: Religion and Literature (RELI 3120)
  • Lost and Found in Translation (EGMT 1530)
  • Sufism: Islamic Mysticism (RELI 3120)
  • Rumi: From Konya to California (MESA 3559)
  • Classical Persian Literature in Translation (PETR 3559)

Selected Publications 

  • "Taste as Method: The Arabic Concept of Direct Experience (Dhawq) and Seventeenth-Century English Thought.” In Logomotives: Words that Change the Premodern World,  eds. Marjorie Rubright and Stephen Spiess (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press; submitted).
  • "'Worlds Together Shined’: Bidel, Traherne, and Collaborative Comparison.” Co-authored with Timothy M. Harrison. PMLA (accepted).
  • "The Grounds of Verse; A Geopolitical Turn in Early Modern Persian Literary Criticism” In The Routledge Handbook on Persian Literature (ed. Kamran Talattof); forthcoming.
  • "Color's Fracture: Translating Fugitive Experience in Early Modern Persian Poetry.” In The Routledge Handbook of Persian Literary Translation (eds. Pouneh Shabani-Jadidi, Michelle Quay, and Patricia J. Higgins); forthcoming.
  • "What Was Early Modern World Literature?” Co-authored with Timothy M. Harrison. Modern Philology 119.1 (August 2021). Special issue, “Multiplicities: Recasting the Early Modern Global,” edited by Carina Johnson and Ayesha Ramachandran.
  • “Flights of Imagination: Avicenna’s Phoenix (ʿAnqā) and Bīdel’s Figuration for the Lyric Self.” Journal of South Asian Intellectual History (2019), 20-72. Special issue on selfhood in the poetry and philosophy of Bīdel Dehlavī (eds. Sajjad Rizvi and Prashant Keshavmurthy).
  • “The Mind Is Its Own Place: Of Lalla’s Comparative Poetics” (co-authored with Sonam Kachru). University of Toronto Quarterly 88.2 (2019), 125-141. Special issue on comparative poetics and world poetics (eds. Ming Xie, Jonathan Hart).
  • “The Way of Tradition and the Path of Innovation: Aurangzeb and Dara Shukuh Contend for the Mughal Throne.” In Empires of the Near East and India: Sources for the Study of the Safavid, Ottoman, and Mughal Societies. Ed. Hani Khafipour, 240-260. New York: Columbia University Press, 2019.
  • “Of Parrots and Crows: Bīdel and Ḥazīn in their Own Words.” Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa, and the Middle East 37.3 (2017), 510-530.