Fields of Study: Ottoman Empire, Mediterranean, Modern Middle East, Intellectual & Cultural History, Global History
Advisor: Molly Greene, Anthony Grafton
ProfileI work on the social and cultural history of the Ottoman and Mediterranean lands. I am especially interested in issues of empire, the circulation of culture and the meanings and management of human difference (ethnic, social and religious). This has led me to pursue questions related to travel and exchange both within and across the confines of the Ottoman Empire. I also have an interest in early modern Ottoman intellectual culture, especially the production and dissemination of knowledge and the emergence of certain literary genres.
My dissertation, “To Gather Together: Rumi-Arab Encounters in Sixteenth-Century Ottoman Literary Salons,” investigates the extensive social, cultural and intellectual consequences of the 1516-7 Ottoman conquest of the Mamluk Sultanate. Using Arabic and Ottoman Turkish sources alike, the project offers an intimate view of the process by which residents of the central Ottoman lands and those of the Arab territories communicated and defined themselves in opposition to one another in the century following the conquest. This leads me to a larger set of questions regarding governance, sociability and Islamic orthodoxy in the Ottoman Empire.
I came to the study of the Middle East through more recent histories of migration: my undergraduate thesis (completed at Washington University in St. Louis) focused on the Turkish immigrant community in Berlin in the 1960s-80s. It was through this community that I became interested in Middle East history. After spending time in Turkey, Syria and Lebanon, I came to Princeton University to study the early modern Ottoman Empire.
My research has been supported by Beinecke, Fulbright and Orient-Institut Istanbul fellowships, and I am currently a fellow at Princeton’s Center for the Study of Religion. I have taught courses on both modern Middle East history and migration in Europe. An article I co-authored with Alexander Bevilacqua entitled “Turquerie: Culture in Motion, 1650-1750” was published in the November 2013 issue of Past and Present.