Marissa Smit first became enraptured with the Middle Ages as an undergraduate at the University of St. Andrews, where was introduced to Ottoman history and also learned how to properly spell the word mediaeval. She went on to receive her MA in Central Eurasian Studies from Indiana University in 2017, with a regional specialization in Turkish. Her research focuses on the intersections between the formation of religious communities, political legitimacy, and increasingly, gender. She has previously explored these topics through Persian language futuwwat-namas and Greek archival records of Muslim schools in Thrace in the 1920s. She hopes to explore how examining masculinity in a variety of contexts can illuminate identities and social expectations in pre- and early-Ottoman Anatolia.