Publications and Research

Document Type


Publication Date



This essay proposes that the invisibility of so-called Gypsies in Middle Eastern and Central Asian historiography derives from two linked phenomena. First, the work of nineteenth- and twentieth-century European and North American philologists, medievalists, and ethnographers delegitimized the Strangers’ languages, along with the cultures and histories that these languages expressed. The erasure of Strangers from modern historiography was nearly total. Secondly, the category of Strangers was transformed in the wake of the Holocaust as Roma activists drew on Nazi racial categories to base Roma identity on linguistic criteria.


This is the author's accepted manuscript of an article finally published as: Richardson, Kristina L. "Invisible Strangers, or Romani History Reconsidered." History of the Present, vol. 10, no. 2, 2020, pp. 187-207. doi:

Available for download on Friday, October 15, 2021