Jianyuan Sun

1st-year Ph.D. student

My name is Ibrahim Jianyuan Sun. I work on the history of Central Asia in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. I am particularly interested in how Central Asian Muslims viewed, and reacted to, the coming of non-Muslim powers, such as Qing China, Imperial Russia, and British Empire, into the region. I am fascinated by how Central Asian Muslims constructed new narratives of political legitimacy in the context of colonial expansion from the three neighboring non-Muslim powers. I work with Persian and Turkic (Chaghatai) sources produced in Central Asia, comparing them with Russian, Chinese/Manchu, and European sources produced from the outside, to illustrate the complexity of historical narrative in Central Asia. Prior to coming to Princeton, I was educated at University College London, University of Washington, and the Ohio State University. In my spare time, I love traveling (more than sixty countries so far!) and learning foreign languages (a highly addictive pastime as it turns out).