Professor R. Michael Feener

  • Professor R. Michael Feener

    CILIS Senior Associate

R. Michael Feener is Professor of Cross-regional Studies at the Kyoto University Center for Southeast Asian Studies, and an Associate Member of the History Faculty at the University of Oxford. He is currently also Director of the Maritime Asia Heritage Survey.

Prior to his move to Kyoto in 2020, he was the Sultan of Oman Fellow at the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies, and a member of the History Faculty at the University of Oxford. Previous to that, he served as Research Leader of the Religion and Globalization Research Cluster at the Asia Research Institute, and Associate Professor in the Department of History at the National University of Singapore. He has also taught at Reed College and the University of California, Riverside, and held visiting professor positions and research fellowships at Harvard, Kyoto University, École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (Paris), the University of Copenhagen, The Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art (Honolulu), and the International Institute for Asian Studies (IIAS) in Leiden, the Netherlands.

The main focus of Professor Feener’s work is in Islamic Studies, with a particular emphasis on the history of Muslim societies of Southeast Asia and the Indian Ocean World. Within that geographic area, his first two monographs dealt with the history of legal thought and practice in Indonesia. His research interests, however, extend beyond legal history and across the broader maritime world of Islam around the Indian Ocean littoral. He has also worked in a number of other areas, publishing on topics including Muslim networks, Arabic biographical texts, Qur’anic studies, Sufism, Shiism, trans-regional circulations, and local histories - especially of Aceh and the Maldives.