Kristian Petersen is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Philosophy & Religious Studies at Old Dominion University. His research and teaching interests include Theory and Methodology in the Study of Religion, Islamic Studies, Chinese Religions, and Media Studies. He specializes on two main areas of research 1) the development of Islam in China, and 2) Muslims in Cinema.
His first book, Interpreting Islam in China: Pilgrimage, Scripture, and Language in the Han Kitab, was published with Oxford University Press in 2017.
He is currently working on a monograph entitled The Cinematic Lives of Muslims. He is also the editor of the forthcoming volumes Muslims in the Movies: A Global Anthology, for the Mizan Series published with ILEX Foundation and Harvard University Press, and New Approaches to Islam in Film, in the series Routledge Studies in Religion and Film.
He is very interested in fostering the expansion of digital tools in the study of religion. He is on the advisory board for the forthcoming Introductions to Digital Humanities: Religion series published with De Gruyter. This series of edited volumes explores the intersections of digital humanities research tools and the study of religion. Volumes offer overviews of current methodologies, techniques, tools, and projects as well as defining challenges and opportunities for further research. He is co-editor, with Christopher Cantwell, of the Introductions to Digital Humanities: Research Methods in the Study of Religion volume in the series.
His own contribution to digital scholarship is as the Design Architect and Curator of the Women of Islamic Studies project, a crowdsourced database of women scholars who work on Muslims and Islam.
Other publications can be found in Journal of Religion and Popular Culture, Modern Asian Studies, Journal of Sufi Studies, Journal of Religion & Society, Philosophy East and West, Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs, and Oxford Islamic Studies Online.
He is an active member of the American Academy of Religion. He is an Advisory Board member for Religious Studies News, the AAR’s web magazine, and produces several podcasts interviews with Book Award and Research Grants winners. He currently serves on the steering committee for the Study of Islam Unit and previously served for the Contemporary Islam Unit (2012-2017). He organized THATCamp “The Humanities and Technology Camp” at the 2013 and 2014 American Academy of Religion annual meetings. Most recently, he is part of the AAR’s Publishing Task Force, and helped co-write the American Academy of Religion’s Guidelines for Evaluating Digital Scholarship with Timothy Beal, Christopher Cantwell, Ted Vial, and Jeri E. Wieringa