Michael Kemper is interested in contemporary Russian foreign policies as well as in the history of Russia and Eurasia. His research focus is on Islam and Orthodoxy in Russia, Ukraine, Central Asia, and the Caucasus, as well as on the history of Orientalism and Oriental Studies in Europe. He has a special interest in the interaction between languages and religions (Russian-Tatar-Orthodoxy-Islam), as well as in strategic regions such as the Caucasus and the Arctic.
Kemper is professor and chair of Eastern European Studies, one of the four chair groups of European Studies at UvA; between 2015 and 2018 he also served as head of the Department of History, European Studies and Religious Studies. Since 2019 he is director of the Amsterdam School of Regional, Transnational and European Studies (ARTES), a part of UvA's Amsterdam Institute of Humanity Studies.
Kemper did his PhD (1997) and habilitation (2003) at the department of Oriental and Islamic studies of Bochum Ruhr University; there he also directed, in close collaboration with Prof. Stefan Reichmuth, a Junior Research Group on "Islamic Networks of Education (18th-20th Centuries)", supported by the Volkswagen Foundation. Between 1998 and 2007, this group produced seven dissertations on Islamic movements of education in India, Syria, Bosnia, and Turkey/the Ottoman Empire. Before coming to UvA Kemper worked as assistant professor for Central EurasianHistory at St. Lawrence University in Canton, NY.
Kemper is member of the editorial board of Die Welt des Islams (Brill) and other journals, and honorary editor of the History journal of the Friendship of Peoples' University in Moscow (RUDN).
Michael Kemper and Shamil Shikhaliev, “Kunta Hajji and the Stolen Horse”, Sharīʻa in the Russian Empire: The Reach and Limits of Islamic Law in Central Eurasia, 1550-1917, ed. by Paolo Sartori and Danielle Ross (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2020), 281-298.
"Muslim EuRossocentrism? Ismail Gasprinskii's 1881 Russian Islam", in: Eurocentrism in European History and Memory, ed. by Marjet Brolsma, Robin de Bruijn, Matthijs Lok (Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2019), 79-101.
Gulnaz Sibgatullina and Michael Kemper, "The Imperial Paradox: Islamic Eurasianism in Contemporary Russia", Resignification of Borders: Eurasianism and the Russian World, ed. ed. by Nina Friess and Konstantin Kaminskij (Berlin: Frank und Timme, 2019), 97-124.
“Religious Political Technology: Damir Mukhetdinov's Russian Islam", Religion, State and Society 47.2 (2019), 214-233.
"Der Streit um die Orthodoxie der Ukraine: die Risiken der kirchenpolitischen Eskalation", Osteuropa 68 (2018), 143-154.
“Russian Orientalism”, Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Asian History, 27 pages. DOI: 10.1093/acrefore/9780190277727.013.297 (online Sept. 2018, at: http://oxfordre.com/asianhistory/view/10.1093/acrefore/9780190277727.001.0001/acrefore-9780190277727-e-297?print=pdf)
"Struggling with Schulze", Islam in der Moderne – Moderne im Islam. Eine Festschrift für Reinhard Schulze zum 65. Geburtstag, herausgegeben von Florian Zemmin, Johannes Stephan und Monica Corrado (Leiden: Brill, 2018), 568-579.
Russia’s Islam and Orthodoxy beyond the Institutions: Languages of Conversion, Competition and Convergence, ed. by Alfrid K. Bustanov and Michael Kemper (London and New York: Routledge, 2018).
Shamil Shikhaliev and Michael Kemper, "Kadimitskaia i dzhadidskaia sistemy obrazovaniia v Dagestane: vzgliad na prepodavanie arabskogo iazyka i islama v XX v.", Vostok-Oriens (Institute of Oriental Studies RAS) 6/2018.
"Islam kak obshchenational'noe kul'turnoe nasledie v poslestalinskom Dagestane: ot idzhtikhada k prosveshchenii", Istoriia, arkheologiia i etnografiia Kavkaza 2 (2018), 127-143.
'Sufiiskaia literatura Uralo-Povolzh"ia. 'Abd ar-Rakhim al-Bulgari (al-Utyz-Imiani, 1754-1835)", in Rossiiskii islam. Ocherki istorii i kul'tury, ed. A.K. Alikberov, V.O. Bobrovnikov, A.K. Bustanov (Moscow: Institut Vostokovedeniia RAN, 2018), 209-268.
"Bogoslovskie i pravovye spory rossiiskikh ulemov kontsa XVIII-serediny XIX v.", Rossiiskii islam. Ocherki istorii i kul'tury, ed. A.K. Alikberov, V.O. Bobrovnikov, A.K. Bustanov (Moscow: Institut Vostokovedeniia RAN, 2018), 132-208.