About Me

Johan Elverskog is Dedman Family Distinguished Professor, Professor of Religious Studies, and, by courtesy, Professor of History at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas.

My research falls into five main areas. The first is Sino-Inner Asian history during the Ming-Qing period (1368-1911). Here my books include The Jewel Translucent Sutra: Altan Khan and the Mongols in the Sixteenth Century, The Pearl Rosary: Mongol Historiography in Early 19th Century Ordos, and Our Great Qing: The Mongols, Buddhism and the State in Late Imperial China. A second area is the history of Buddhism among the Turks and Mongols. Here, my books include Uygur Buddhist Literature and the edited volume Biographies of Eminent Mongol Buddhists. It is also the focus of my current book project, A History of Uighur Buddhism, 800-1800.

A third focus is inter-Asian cross-cultural exchange and interaction. Here, my books include the co-edited volume Cosmopolitanism in China, 1600-1920 and Buddhism and Islam on the Silk Road, which was a Choice Outstanding Academic Title and won the American Academy of Religion’s Award for Excellence in the Historical Study of Religion. The fourth, and most recent focus of my work is environmental history. My latest book is The Buddha’s Footprint: An Environmental History of Asia, and with Ali Yacioglu of Stanford University I have co-organized the international conference Global Environmental Borderlands in the Age of Empire.

Finally, the fifth focus is an effort to bring the fruits of scholarship on Inner Asian history to a larger audience, especially to scholars and students in other disciplines. The first of these projects is a translation of Sagang Sechen’s 1662 history of the Mongols, the Precious Summary, and the second is Sources of Mongol Tradition, which I am co-editing with Christopher P. Atwood, and will be published in the Introduction to Asian Civilizations Series of Columbia University Press.

My research has been supported by the American Council of Learned Societies, the Ford Research Foundation, and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, among others. I have also had residential fellowships at the Interdisciplinary Humanities Center, the Swedish Collegium for Advanced Studies, the Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University, and the Käte Hamburger Kolleg at Ruhr Universität.