Raised in Seattle, Connor Boyle received his B.A. in Computer Science and Chinese Language & Culture at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota. During his undergraduate studies, he developed an interest in Chinese literature, Islamic thought, and the Arabic language. He ultimately combined the three interests in his senior capstone paper, in which he analyzed author Zhang Chengzhi’s fusion of Maoist ideology and Sufi historiography in his 1991 book History of the Soul 心灵史. At Yale, he intends to study the development of early Sinophone Islamic thought. His research interests are motivated by a desire to challenge the cultural, civilizational, ethnic, and religious divisions imposed on the pre-modern world by much of contemporary historiography.