Rachel Richman

7th-year Ph.D. student
Jones Hall


As an undergraduate at the University of Chicago, I sought out Hebrew, Arabic, and Islamic History courses, not quite knowing where they would lead me. In my third year, I was introduced to the Cairo Geniza and became enthralled by the opportunity to combine my interests and language skills.

After graduation, I spent a year in Morocco, living with host families and learning the local dialect of Arabic in Fes, and then interning at the Casablanca Jewish Museum to revise and translate their labels into an English/French format. 

I was fortunate to receive a fully funded spot in Ohio State’s MA program in Near Eastern Languages and Cultures, where I began to study Judeo-Arabic.

At Princeton, I will continue working with the Cairo Geniza to explore the social history and material culture of the Medieval Islamic world. I am particularly interested in women and families, and how Geniza sources are uniquely able to illuminate their lives.