Jennifer Rose Webster, PhD

Jennifer Webster

PhD, History

Adjunct Faculty, History

Phone: 206-296-5450

Building/Room: Casey 410

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Biography

Jennifer Webster completed her PhD in history at the University of Washington in March 2015. She holds a masters degree in International Studies—Comparative Religion from the University of Washington and a bachelor’s degree in Biology from Reed College. Jennifer’s dissertation, “Toward a Sacred Topography of Central Asia: Shrines, Pilgrimage, and Gender in Kyrgyzstan,” investigated the evolution of Islamic practices at several major shrines in Kyrgyzstan from the 1950s to the present through an analysis of oral, written, and visual sources. These sources included: interviews conducted in Kyrgyz, Tajik, Uzbek, and Russian, unpublished administrative documents and photographs from multiple sites in Kyrgyzstan, as well as diverse narrative sources from Islamic, Soviet, and European scholars. Through a series of case studies focused on several major shrines and the themes of ethnicity, gender, and health, her research elucidates how Central Asian Muslims examine, negotiate, and redefine their traditional beliefs and practices in dialogue with local, national, and global forces. Jennifer has designed courses on the Silk Road, the Middle East, pilgrimage and shrines, and travel writing at the University of Washington, Western Washington University, the Evergreen State College, and Seattle University. Besides her specialization in Islamic history, Jennifer works closely with the UW Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science and Engineering where she supports research projects that focus on gender and technology in resource constrained contexts.