College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Benjamin Gatling

Benjamin Gatling

Benjamin Gatling

Associate Director

Assistant Professor

Folklore: narrative, performance, the ethnography of communication, Islam, Central Asia and the Middle East

Benjamin Gatling (Ph.D., Ohio State University) is a folklorist specializing in the folklore of Central Asia and the Middle East. Prior to coming to Mason, he held a postdoctoral fellowship in the Thompson Writing Program at Duke University. His book, Expressions of Sufi Culture in Tajikistan (University of Wisconsin Press) will be published in 2018 as part of the Folklore Studies in a Multicultural World multi-press book series. The book explores how Muslims in Tajikistan mobilize expressive culture to carve out political agency and construct what it means to be Muslim in the post-Soviet context.

Selected Publications

“Historical Narrative, Intertextuality, and Cultural Continuity in Post-Soviet Tajikistan,” Journal of Folklore Research 53.1(2016): 41-65.

“Abdulhaĭ Mujaxarfī and the Contemporary Reception of Tajik Oral Poetry.” In Iranian Languages and Literatures of Central Asia: From the 18th Century to the Present, eds. Matteo De Chiara and Evelin Grassi, Paris: Association pour l’Avancement des Études Iraniennes (Cahiers de Studia Iranica, 2015), 207-231.

“The Guide after Rumi: tradition and its foil in Tajik Sufism,” Nova Religio 17.1(2013): 1-23.