Xinyi Wei

4th-year Ph.D. student
Jones Hall

I am interested in the topic of religion, slavery, and gender, and specifically in how they intersect and shaped the medieval Central Asian slave trade. In my first two years at Princeton, I adopted a comparative approach examining Arabic and Chinese slave-selling contracts from the Cairo Geniza and Dunhuang documents. In my dissertation, I hope to incorporate this method with Persian sources to reconstruct the experience of enslaved people as they moved across Eurasia.

I was born in Beijing, and I lived there until I moved to Abu Dhabi for my undergraduate studies. In an attempt to understand my surroundings, and to be able to answer questions from families and that of my own, I turned to history classes for answers. Instead, these classes threw more and more questions at me, and eventually they led me here to Princeton.