Speaker Biographies - Situating Ottoman Europe

Gábor Ágoston

Associate Professor, Georgetown University

Gábor Ágoston joined Georgetown University’s Department of History in 1998 as a specialist of the Ottoman Empire. Before Georgetown, he taught Ottoman, Hungarian, and Balkan history at the ELTE University of Budapest. His research has focused on the Ottoman Empire and its Habsburg and Russian imperial rivals, and on Ottoman and European warfare, diplomacy, and intelligence-gathering. In 2003, he was visiting professor at the University of Vienna, Austria. In 2008 and 2009, he taught at Georgetown’s McGhee Center for Eastern Mediterranean Studies in Alanya, Turkey, and in 2018 at Georgetown’s Doha, Qatar, campus. He is the author of nine monographs and collected studies, as well as more than ninety scholarly articles and book chapters in English, Turkish, and Hungarian on Ottoman, European and Hungarian history. He is also the co-editor of the first English-language Encyclopedia of the Ottoman Empire (2009) and the forthcoming volume 3 of the Cambridge History of War.

Frederick Anscombe

Reader in Modern History, Birkbeck - University of London
Fred Anscombe is Reader in Modern History at Birkbeck, University of London.  His research interests range across Ottoman Balkan and Middle Eastern history from the late seventeenth century to the end of empire and into the post-Ottoman period.  He is the author of The Ottoman Gulf: The Creation of Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar (Columbia, 1997) and State, Faith, and Nation in Ottoman and Post-Ottoman Lands (Cambridge, 2014) and the editor of The Ottoman Balkans, 1750-1830 (Markus Wiener, 2006).  His current project is entitled Roots of Conflict: The Middle East since 1900, to be published by Oxford.

Grigor Boykov

Research Associate, Austrian Academy of Sciences, Vienna

Grigor Boykov is a Research Associate in the Balkan Studies Research Unit at the Institute for Modern and Contemporary Historical Research (INZ) of the Austrian Academy of Sciences (ÖAW). Prior to joining ÖAW he taught at the History Department of the University of Sofia (2014-2019) and was a visiting professor at Central European University in Budapest (2015-2016). His main research interest and publications focus on population, socio-economic, and spatial history of the Ottoman Balkans; Ottoman urbanism and architectural history; history of the Islamic pious foundations in Ottoman and independent Bulgaria;  history of Athonite monastic community. Boykov has been a team member of the projects ERC-CoG-2014 OTTOCONFESSION (2015-2016) and ERC-StG-2015 UrbanOccupationsOETR (2017-2019) and also co-initiated several digital initiatives among which the Digital Archive and Library of the Zograf monastery and a Historical Gazetteer of Ottoman Bulgaria. In 2019, he received Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) Individual Fellowships (IF), under EC Horizon 2020 Widening Programme, for his project Population Geography of Bulgaria, 1500- 1920: An Historical Spatial Analysis (POPGEO_BG), carried out at Koç University in Istanbul.  

Molly Greene

Professor of History and Hellenic Studies; Director, Program in Hellenic Studies, Princeton University
Molly Greene is Professor of History and Hellenic Studies at Princeton University. She is also the Director of the Program in Hellenic Studies and the Associate Chair of the Department of History. Greene studies the history of the Mediterranean Basin, the Ottoman Empire, and the Greek world. Her interests include the social and economic history of the Ottoman Empire, the experience of Greeks under Ottoman rule and the early modern Mediterranean. Greene is the author of A Shared World: Christians and Muslims in the Early Modern Mediterranean (2000); Catholic Pirates and Greek Merchants: A Maritime History of Mediterranean 1450-1700 (2010), which was a co-winner of the Runciman Award for that year; and The Edinburgh History of the Greeks, 1453-1768: The Ottoman Empire (2015), that book was shortlisted for the Runciman Award.

Edin Hajdarpašić

Associate Professor, Loyola University Chicago
Edin Hajdarpasic is associate professor of history at Loyola University Chicago. He is the author of Whose Bosnia? Nationalism and Political Imagination in the Balkans, 1840-1914 (Cornell, 2015). His book, which examined the competing national movements in the Ottoman and Habsburg Balkan provinces, was the winner of the Rothschild Book Prize in Nationalism and Ethnic Studies from the Association for the Study of Nationalities (ASN, 2016). His current research project explores the lives of European intellectuals who converted to Islam in the early twentieth century and especially after the First World War, raising questions about identity, othering, and historical memory.

Jesse Howell

Academic Programs Manager, Center for Middle Eastern Studies, Harvard University

Jesse Howell studies movement, infrastructure and cultural exchange in the early modern Ottoman Empire. His Phd dissertation, “The Ragusa Road: Mobility and Encounter in the Ottoman Balkans (1430-1700) is a cultural history of a road network that connected Istanbul to the Adriatic Sea. A chapter based on this research, “Balkan Caravans: Dubrovnik’s Overland Networks in the Ottoman Era,” was recently published in Croatian and English (Lazaretto in Dubrovnik ed. Ante Milošević, 2018). His research has been supported by the Koç University Research Center for Anatolian Civilizations (ANAMED) in Istanbul, the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation in Venice, Harvard’s Center for Renaissance Studies at Villa I Tatti, and the Mahindra Humanities Center at Harvard. Jesse is the Academic Programs Manager and Associate Director of the Masters Program at Harvard’s Center for Middle Eastern Studies.  

Cemal Kafadar

Vehbi Koç Professor of Turkish Studies, Harvard University
Cemal Kafadar is Professor of History and Vehbi Koç Professor of Turkish Studies in the History Department at Harvard University. Among his publications are Between Two Worlds: The Construction of the Ottoman State (1995); a volume of essays on four “ordinary lives” and autobiographical writing (in Turkish, Kim Var İmiş Biz Burada Yoğiken, 2011); and "A Rome of One's Own: Reflections on Cultural Geography and Identity in the Lands of Rum" in Muqarnas 24 (2007) (expanded version published as a book in Turkish, Kendine Ait Bir Roma, 2017). He has co-edited (with Halil Inalcik) Süleyman the Second and His Time (1995). His articles include: “Evliya Çelebi in Dalmatia: An Ottoman Traveler’s Encounters with the Arts of the Franks” (2014) and “How Dark is the History of the Night, How Black the Story of Coffee, How Bitter the Tale of Love: The Changing Measure of Leisure and Pleasure in Early Modern Istanbul” (2014). He has worked closely on two film projects: Bedreddin of Simavna: Inspirations (dir: Nurdan Arca, 2006); Cine-Eye Istanbul 1661 (based on Eremya Kömürcüyan’s History of Istanbul; dir: Zeynep Dadak, 2019). He has co-edited Treasures of Knowledge: An Inventory of the Ottoman Palace Library (1502/3-1503/4), 2 vols. (2019) and authored two pieces in it: “Between Amasya and Istanbul: Bayezid II, His Librarian, and the Textual Turn of the Fifteenth Century,” and (with Ahmet Karamustafa) “Books on Sufism, Lives of Saints, Ethics, and Sermons.”

Yusuf Ziya Karabıçak

Ph.D. Candidate, McGill University & EHESS  

Yusuf Ziya Karabicak completed his undergraduate and graduate studies at Boğaziçi University in Istanbul. He is currently pursuing doctoral studies in a joint PhD program at McGill University (Montreal) and EHESS (Paris) under the supervision of Tassos Anastassiadis and Nathalie Clayer respectively. Karabicak's dissertation focuses on the transforming place of the Orthodox Patriarchate of Constantinople in the Ottoman power structure of late 18th and early 19th centuries. It treats questions of the rise of great ayans in the Balkans, center-periphery relationships, the dissemination of revolutionary ideologies in the Ottoman Empire as well as the submission and loyalty of Orthodox Christians to the Ottoman power. His research has been supported by the Fonds de recherche du Quebec -Société et Culture and through scholarships at the French School at Athens. He has received the Vangelis Kechriotis Travel Grant and the Fisher Graduate Paper Prize for best article of the Ottoman and Turkish Studies Association in 2018. In 2019, he was based in Mainz thanks to a PhD Fellowship by the Leibniz Institute for European History.

Marijana Mišević

Ph.D. Candidate, Harvard University
Marijana Mišević entered the joint History & Middle Eastern Studies PhD program in 2013. She specializes in the cultural and intellectual history of the Early Modern Ottoman empire with focus on the Ottoman-ruled Southeastern Europe. Her thesis investigates a corpus of texts recorded in Slavic languages by the use of Arabic script as a case study in Early Modern Ottoman literacy and multilingualism. Her academic interests also include Islamic History, Early Modern European History, Byzantine History, Philosophy of History, Historical Methodology, and Language Anthropology. Before beginning her graduate work at Harvard University, Marijana earned her M.A. degree from Central European University in Comparative History: Medieval Studies, a Magister Degree from University of Belgrade in Linguistics, and B.A. from University of Belgrade in Oriental Philology.

Emese Muntan

PhD Candidate, Central European University, Department of Medieval Studies, Budapest
Emese Muntan is a 5th year PhD candidate at the Department of Medieval Studies at Central European University (CEU), Budapest and also a junior research fellow in the ERC research project, “The Fashioning of a Sunni Orthodoxy and the Entangled Histories of Confession-Building in the Ottoman Empire, 15th –18th Centuries (OTTOCONFESSION, 2015-2020)”, led by Prof. Tijana Krstić at CEU. Her research focuses on the confessional transformations in early modern Southeast and Central Europe, especially on the encounters and entanglements among the agents of Catholicism, Orthodoxy, and Islam during the Ottoman rule in these regions. Her doctoral dissertation, Conflicting Catholicisms in Northern Ottoman Rumeli in the Age of Confessionalization examines the ways in which the sacramental reforms of Trent were received, contested, and brokered in the religiously, ethnically, and legally pluralistic context of seventeenth-century Ottoman Europe, with a focus on its northern frontier in Bosnia, Hungary, and the Banat. Her article entitled Uneasy Agents of Tridentine Reforms—Catholic Missionaries in Southern Ottoman Hungary and Their Local Competitors in the First Half of the Seventeenth Century won the RefoRC 2019 Paper Award and will soon be published in the Journal of Early Modern Christianity.

Jelena Radovanović

Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Near East Studies, Princeton University
Jelena is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Near Eastern Studies at Princeton University. She studies urban, social, and cultural history of the late Ottoman Empire, with a focus on Ottoman Balkans. Her dissertation, titled Property, Law, and the Making of the Serbian Nation-state in post-Ottoman Niš, analyzes the refashioning of Niš from an Ottoman imperial frontier city into the European-looking second capital of the late-nineteenth century Serbia, and examines the large-scale transformation of property ownership that informed and enabled this process. Her further research interests include transnational history of the Balkan states, Ottoman legacy, translation, and philology.

Amy Singer

Hassenfeld Chair in Islamic Studies and Professor of History in the Department of History, Brandeis University

Amy Singer (Ph.D. Near Eastern Studies, Princeton University, 1989) is Hassenfeld Chair in Islamic Studies and Professor in the Department of History, and professor emerita in the Department of Middle Eastern and African History at Tel Aviv University. Her research began with an in-depth study of the relations between Ottoman officials and Palestinian peasants, in an effort to move Ottoman agrarian history beyond cataloguing the demography and agricultural production of villages (Palestinian peasants and Ottoman officials, 1994). This first study revealed the importance of the Haseki Sultan vakıf, a large, endowed public kitchen (imaret) founded in mid-sixteenth-century Jerusalem (Constructing Ottoman Beneficence, 2002). One endowment led to others, and to a broad study of benevolent giving (Charity in Islamic Societies, 2008). Each monograph also appeared in Turkish translation. Singer’s research now focuses on Ottoman Edirne, exploring how the city participated in the formation of Ottoman state and society in the first half of the fifteenth century. She is part of OpenOttoman, an initiative to consider how digital tools and capacities can enhance and sustain Ottoman studies. From 2018-2020, she is president of the Ottoman and Turkish Studies Association.

Magda Teter

Professor of History and the Shvidler Chair in Judaic Studies, Fordham University
Magda Teter is Professor of History and Shvidler Chair in Judaic Studies at Fordham University. She is the author of Blood Libel: On the Trail of An Antisemitic Myth (Harvard University Press, 2020), Sinners on Trial: Jews and Sacrilege after the Reformation (Harvard, 2011), and Jews and Heretics in Catholic Poland(Cambridge, 2006), as numerous articles in English, Italian, Polish, and Hebrew. She has received fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim and Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundations, and was the Emeline Bigelow Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Studies at Harvard and the Mellon Foundation Fellow at the Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library. She has served as the co-editor of the AJS Review,  the flagship journal of the Association for Jewish Studies and as the Vice-President for Publications of the AJS. She is currently a fellow of the American Academy for Jewish Research.