Daniel Sheffield

Associate Professor of Near Eastern Studies | Director of Undergraduate Studies
Princeton University

Daniel J. Sheffield is Associate Professor in the Department of Near Eastern Studies at Princeton University, where he specializes in the religious, intellectual, and social history of the medieval and early modern Persian-speaking world. Sheffield is a specialist in exchanges between Safavid Iran and Mughal India, and in particular, the history of Zoroastrian communities during this period. More broadly, he is interested in the transmission and transformation of ideas from Late Antiquity into Early Modernity. His current research project examines the role that ideas about language and translation play in the development of religious and historical thought. Sheffield has completed a manuscript entitled Cosmopolitan Zarathustras: Religion, Translation, and Prophethood in Iran and South Asia, a book which tells the story of the Zoroastrian communities of Iran and South Asia by tracing how the embrace of a cosmopolitan theological vocabulary and the reception of the canon of Classical Persian literature affects these communities, promoting the production of new forms of meaning-making and literary production under the specter of scholastic traditions inherited from Late Antiquity. His recent publications appear in the Wiley-Blackwell Companion to Zoroastrianism (ed. Stausberg and Vevaina), No Tapping around Philology: A Festschrift for Wheeler M. Thackston Jr.’s 70th Birthday (ed. Korangy and Sheffield), and On the Wonders of Land and Sea: Persianate Travel Writing (ed. Micallef and Sharma).  He is currently pursuing research on a second book project, tentatively entitled On Translation and Toleration: The Free-Thinkers of Safavid Iran and Mughal India