Jane Mikkelson’s research and teaching focus on premodern literary cultures of Islamicate South Asia and the Near East, with a particular interest in theories of literature, philosophy and literature, translation studies, and entangled early modernities. Her ongoing research projects, both individual and collaborative, aim to bridge the studies of early modern South Asian, Near Eastern, and European literary and intellectual cultures.
Mikkelson completed a joint PhD in South Asian and Near Eastern Languages & Civilizations from the University of Chicago in 2019. Recent publications discuss representations of fugitive experience in early modern Persian poetry; the Arabic concept of taste (dhawq) and seventeenth-century English thought; a geopolitical turn in Persian literary criticism; canonicity and innovation in Safavid and Mughal literary traditions; and the ambient availability of Avicenna’s philosophy for Persian poets. In 2021, her essay “Flights of Imagination: Avicenna’s Phoenix (‘Anqa) and Bidel’s Figuration for the Lyric Self” won the the Jafar and Shokoh Farzaneh Prize for best article on Persian literature. Her first book project, Your Broken Colors: A Theory of Poetry and Fugitive Experience, argues that poets writing in Persian (many of whom also wrote in Arabic and Urdu) during the long seventeenth century developed creative new forms of interdisciplinarity that redefined the content, aims, and methods of philosophical and scientific inquiry in early modernity.