Dror Weil

Visiting Postdoctoral Fellow (Nov 2018-Aug 2019)

Previously in Dept. II (Sept. 2017–Nov. 2018)

Dror Weil received his PhD from Princeton University's Department of East Asian Studies in 2016. His dissertation charts late imperial China's intellectual engagement with Arabic and Persian scholarly discourses on the natural world roughly between the thirteenth and eighteenth centuries.

Between September 2017 and November 2018, Dror was a Postdoctoral Fellow in Department II at the Institute, and a member of the Berlin Center for the History of Knowledge. Before coming to the Institute, Dror was a Thomas Arnold Postdoctoral Fellow at Tel Aviv University.

His current research project deals with the circulation of Arabic and Persian texts in late imperial China and their translations into Chinese. In particular, he is interested in examining the scope, quality, and processes of translation and domestication of knowledge in the fields of medicine, astronomy, philology, and natural philosophy.

Dror has published on the movements of Arabic and Persian texts into China, and China’s domestication of Arabo-Persian knowledge during the late imperial period. His fields of expertise include the history of late imperial China, history of East Asia, history of Islam and the Islamicate world, the history of the book in Asia, translation theory, and sociology of knowledge.

He has taught courses on Asian history and languages at Taiwan’s National Chengchi University, Princeton University, and Tel Aviv University.


Medical Knowledge and the Circulation of Islamic Texts in China, Seventeenth–Nineteenth Centuries


Translating Experience: The Transmission of Arabo-Persian Theories on Body and Soul to China, 14th–18th Centuries


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Selected Publications

Weil, D. (2018). The fourteenth-century transformation in China's reception of Arabo-Persian astronomy. In P. Manning, & A. Owen (Eds.), Knowledge in translation: global patterns of scientific exchange, 1000-1800 CE (pp. 262-274). Pittsburgh:…

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Weil, D. (2016). Islamicated China: China's participation in the islamicate book culture during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Intellectual History of the Islamicate World, 4, 36-60.

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