Tommaso Previato


Academia Sinica, Institute of History and Philology


Tommaso Previato holds a joint Ph.D. degree in ‘Civilisations, Cultures and Societies of Asia and Africa’ from the Sapienza University of Rome (Istituto Italiano di Studi Orientali) and Minzu University of China (School of Ethnology and Sociology). He is a historically minded ethnologist and post-doctoral research associate at Academia Sinica’s Institute of History and Philology. Combining text-based research with empirical methods of field data collection, his work lies at the intersection of history, gender and religion, with a focus on Sinophone Islam and the minority cultures of western China. His latest research project (grant number: MOST 111-2811-H-001-023; principal investigator: Wang Ming-ke) examines inclusive notions of kinship, gender and community in the cosmogonic myths of a few Tibeto-Burman minorities of upland Yunnan.

Publications Related to the RedGold Programme:

– ‘Stati Alterati di Coscienza come Pratica Ascetica: Annientamento di Sé, Fenomeni Allucinatori e Culto delle Reliquie nel Sufismo Jahriya’ [Altered States of Consciousness as Ascetic Practice: Self-Annihilation, Hallucinations and Relic Worship in Jahriya Sufism], in Ester Bianchi et al., eds., Pluralità degli Stati di Coscienza nelle Esperienze Religiose, Milan: Mimesis (forthcoming, fall 2023)

– ‘Jihad o Rivoluzione? Percorsi Martirologici ed Escatologia Politica nell’Islam Cinese’ [Jihad or Revolution? Martyrological Trajectories and Political Eschatology in Modern Chinese Islam], Annali Sezione Orientale, 82/1-2 (2022), 106-40

– ‘Love, Death and Self-Transformation in Jahriyyah Hagiographies and Ma Dexin’s Commented Translation of Qaṣīdat al-Burda (The Mantle Poem)’, Qira’at – KFCRIS Humanities Papers, 16 (2022), 1-54

Martyrdom and Frontier Banishment in the Official and Devotional Narratives of anti-Qing Uprisings: The Case of Jahri Sufi Women in 18–20th Century Gansu, Rome: Write Up Books (Ming Qing Studies – Monographs, No. 2), 2020 (ISBN 978-88-85629-84-4)

– ‘Le Minoranze Musulmane nel Quadro delle Relazioni Sino-Arabe: Vecchi e Nuovi Processi di Inclusione’ [The Muslim Minority Issue in Sino-Arab Strategic Relations: Old and New Processes of Inclusion], Sinosfere: Una Rivista sull’Universo Culturale Cinese, Costellazioni – Chinese Soft Power, 5 (Apr. 2019), 48-68 (ISSN 2612-2200)

– ‘A Neglected Genealogy of the Martyred Heroines of Islam: (Re)-writing Women’s Participation in Jihad into the History of Late Imperial Gansu’, Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs, 38/3 (2018), 301-25

– ‘Pre-modern Globalization and Islamic Networks under Mongol Rule: Some Preliminary Considerations on the Spreading of Sufi Knowledge in Gansu-Qinghai’, Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs 36/2 (2016), 235-66

– ‘La Presenza Musulmana in Cina: Dinamiche Storiche e Problematiche Attuali’ [The Muslim Presence in China: Historical Dynamics and Contemporary Challenges], Mondo Cinese: Rivista di Studi sulla Cina Contemporanea, 147/3 (2011), 96-115

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