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Alexander Balistreri

    Position: Graduate Student
    Title: 6th-year Ph.D. student
    Office: Jones Hall

    When I began learning Turkish in 2003, I had no idea that I was embarking on a journey that would lead me to an academic career. Now well into my Ph.D. program in Princeton, I have devoted myself to studying the modern history of Turkey, the Caucasus, and the surrounding regions.

    I graduated with highest honors from the University of Wisconsin–Madison, where I studied political science and languages and cultures of Asia. My life as a graduate student began with a master's degree in Princeton University's Program in Near Eastern Studies. Spending several years abroad, I earned a second master's degree in Turkish Studies from Sabancı University in Istanbul.

    Now in my sixth year at Princeton's Department of Near Eastern Studies, I am nearing completion of my dissertation. My research examines the nineteenth- and twentieth-century history of the polyethnic Anatolian-Caucasian borderland. More broadly, I am interested in how modern states interact with their populations; my academic production focuses on concepts like sovereignty, legitimacy, violence, political opposition, and nationalism.

    I am committed to sharing my research in multiple forums. To date, I have given public lectures presenting my ongoing research in the United States, Germany, Turkey, and Azerbaijan. At the university level, I have served as teaching assistant for six semesters.

    I took my general examinations in Modern Ottoman and Turkish History ( Hanioğlu ), Modern Caucasian History (Reynolds), and Modern Middle Eastern History (Weiss). I have fluent command of English, German, and Turkish, while I also make use of Russian, Persian, and several other languages in my research.



    Book Chapters

    “A Provisional Republic in the Southwest Caucasus: Discourses of Self-Determination on the Ottoman-Caucasian Frontier, 1918–’19,” in The Ottoman East: Trans-regionalism, Fluid Identities and Local Politics in the 19th and 20th Centuries, ed. Ali Sipahi, Dzovinar Derderian, and Yasar Tolga Cora (London: I.B. Tauris, 2016).


    “Turkey’s Forgotten Political Opposition: The Demise of Kadirbeyoğlu Zeki Bey, 1919–1927,” Die Welt des Islams 55: 2 (July 2015), 141–85. [LINK]

    * Winner of Brill Publishers’ first “Middle East and Islamic Studies Early-Career Paper Prize”

    “Kars’ta Kızıl Bayrak: Bir Rus Askerinin Şubat Devrimi Hatıraları,” Toplumsal Tarih 253 (Ocak 2015), 34–39.

    Book Reviews

    Book Review of Sonya Mirzoyan and Candan Badem, The Construction of the Tiflis-Aleksandropol-Kars Railway (1895–1899), Central Asian Survey 34: 1 (2015), 144–45. [LINK]


    Teaching Assistantships

    Princeton University

    Fall 2016 – Political Islamism (Haykel)

    Fall 2012 – The Making of the Modern Middle East (Weiss)

    Spring 2007 – Political and Economic Development of the Middle East (Taylor)

    Sabancı University

    Fall 2009 – Humanity and Society II (introduction to history and social sciences) (Berktay)

    Spring 2010 – Humanity and Society II (Şekercioğlu)

    Fall 2011 – Humanity and Society II (Şekercioğlu)