About Me About Me | Matthew Thomas Miller
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Matthew Thomas Miller


Assistant Professor of Persian Literature and Digital Humanities at Roshan Institute for Persian Studies, University of Maryland, College Park and an affiliate of the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities


About Me About Me | Matthew Thomas Miller

About Me

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 an affiliate of the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities. He also serves as the Associate 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) (including serving as PI of the Mellon Foundation-funded Open Islamicate Texts Initiative Arabic-script OCR Catalyst Project) and the Persian Manuscript Initiative (PMI). His research focuses on medieval Sufi literature, the history of sexuality and the body, and digital humanities. He currently is working on a book project, entitled Embodying the Beloved: Embodiment and Mystical Modes of Meaning Creation in Medieval Persian Sufi Literature, and a number of articles on computational or “distant reading” approaches to Persian literature and carnivalesque Sufi poetry.

Education

2016—PhD, Comparative Literature (with Graduate Certificate, Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies), Washington University in Saint Louis
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

Course Offerings

Scholarly Publications

  • “Fakhr al-Dīn ‘Irāqī: Poet and Mystic.” In Religious and Mystical Literature (Volume VI of A History of Persian Literature Series), eds. Fatemeh Keshavarz, Ahmet T. Karamustafa, and Ehsan Yarshater. New York: I.B. Tauris, Forthcoming 2020.
  • (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). Available here. (Considered a peer-reviewed publication by relevant academic organizations.)
  • (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).* (Considered a peer-reviewed publication by relevant academic organizations.)
  • (with Ali Khan Mahmudabad and Columba Stewart). “The Raja of Mahmudabad Palace Library Project.” Shi’i Studies Review 3 (2019): 271-279. doi: https://doi.org/10.1163/24682470-12340046
  • “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). doi: https://doi.org/10.1080/1475262X.2018.1492134
  • (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). Available here.
  • (with Maxim G. Romanov and Sarah Bowen Savant). “Digitizing the Textual Heritage of the Premodern Islamicate World: Principles and Plans.” International Journal of Middle East Studies 50 (2017): 103-109. doi: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0020743817000964
  • (with Sarah Bowen Savant). ““Tell Me Something I Don’t Know!”: The Place and Politics of Digital Methods in the (Islamicate) Humanities.” International Journal of Middle East Studies 50 (2017): 135-139. doi: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0020743817001027
  • (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). doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/M6TZ4R

Public Intellectual Writing

Honors, Awards, and Grants (Selected)

  • Grant ($800,000) from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for The Open Islamicate Texts Initiative Arabic-script OCR Catalyst Project (OpenITI AOCP) (2019)
  • Ehsan Yarshater Fellowship in Iranian and Persian Studies, Yale University (2017-2018) (declined)
  • Collection Care and Emergency Response Grant (£5,000), Islamic Manuscript Association (2017) (for PMI project in the Raja of Mahmudabad Palace Library)
  • DRIF Conference Grant for “Manuscripts in the 21st Century” workshop
  • Global Classroom Initiatives Grant (2015) for development of the Islamicate World 2.0: Studying Islamicate Cultures through Computation Textual Analysis course ($12,000). More information on the course is available here
  • Tier 1 University of Maryland Grant (2015) for Persian Digital Library project ($50,000)
  • Roshan Cultural Heritage Institute Fellowship for Excellence in Persian Studies (2012-2013)

Service to Profession