About Us

Chris Gratien and Emrah Safa Gürkan
Georgetown University, April 2011
Ottoman History Podcast began in March of 2011. It was a modest experiment aimed at finding an alternative form of academic production that explores new and more accessible media and allows for a collaborative approach. Since then we have grown to be one of the largest digital resources for academic discussion concerning the Ottoman Empire and the modern Middle East. Over the years, our project has incorporated contributions big and small from hundreds of colleagues. Our recorded interviews and lectures, while still largely academic in tone, provide serious and constructive conversation. For more about our mission, see our project overview.

Click here for a complete episode guide.

Chris Gratien, Producer & Co-Creator

Chris holds a Ph.D. from Georgetown University and is Assistant Professor of History at University of Virginia, where he teaches courses on environmental history and the Middle East. His book project focuses on the social and environmental history of the Cilicia region of Southern Turkey. Since 2011, he has been producer of Ottoman History Podcast. He is also currently in charge of DC-area operations. Chris currently devotes most of his energies on the podcast towards the development of the Deporting Ottoman Americans investigative series.

Emrah Safa Gürkan, Co-Creator & Emeritus Host

Emrah holds a Ph.D. from Georgetown University, and he is currently a faculty member in the Political Science and International Relations Department at 29 Mayıs University in Istanbul. Emrah's research focuses on the history of the early modern Mediterranean, and his 2017 monograph Sultanın Casusları explores the world of espionage and diplomacy in the Ottoman Empire. As original co-creator of Ottoman History Podcast and longtime director of our Turkish-language operations, Emrah currently makes occasional appearances on the program.

2018 Editorial Team

Beginning in 2017, Ottoman History Podcast has instituted an editorial team of contributors charged with coordinating and developing the program. Each year, a new editorial team is assembled by consensus.

Nir Shafir, Editor in Chief

Nir is Assistant Professor of History at University of California, San Diego. He earned his Ph.D. from UCLA in 2016. His research examines knowledge production, religious practice, and material culture in the early modern Middle East and Balkans. As Editor in Chief currently based in Istanbul, Nir is responsible for coordinating the recording and release of episodes and developing new trajectories for our program in terms of subject matter and format. He is curator of our series on the History of Science.
Susanna Ferguson, Managing Editor

Suzie is a Ph.D. Candidate in Middle Eastern History at Columbia University and is currently based in Istanbul. She is working on a dissertation entitled "Tracing Tarbiya: Women, Gender and Childrearing in Egypt and Lebanon, 1865-1939." Suzie joined our recording team in 2014. As a managing editor, she participates in all aspects of the editorial decision-making process and posts to the blog. She is a frequent host and also is co-curator of our series on Women, Gender, and Sex.
Shireen Hamza, Managing Editor

Shireen is a doctoral student in the History of Science department at Harvard University working on science and medicine in the Islamicate Middle Ages. As a managing editor, she participates in all aspects of the editorial decision-making process and posts to the blog. Shireen is head of our operations in Cambridge, MA.
Matthew Ghazarian, Managing Editor

Matt is a Ph. D. candidate in Columbia's Department of Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies (MESAAS), where he works on Ottoman social and economic history. His dissertation focuses on sectarianism, humanitarianism, and how they unfolded as concepts and practices in nineteenth-century Anatolia, examining this question through the lens of famine, disease, and other hardships. He joined the OHP team in 2015 and has been actively involved in training our new Istanbul-based team members.

Production Team

Kalliopi Amygdalou

Kalliopi joined the recording team in winter 2013. She completed her doctorate at the Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London in 2014 and is currently a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellow at the Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy. Her research explores the relationship between architecture, politics of heritage and processes of modernization in post-Ottoman Greece and Turkey. She is co-curator of our series on urban space.
Graham Cornwell

Graham is a Ph.D. candidate at Georgetown University working on the history of Morocco. He is editor of tajine, our series on the history and culture of North Africa.
Nicholas Danforth

Nick earned his Ph.D. from Georgetown University in 2015 and is currently senior political analyst at the Bipartisan Policy Center. In addition to his work on the podcast since its earliest days, he is creator and editor of The Afternoon Map blog.
Sam Dolbee

Sam is a junior research fellow at Brandeis University. He earned his Ph.D. from the Department of Middle East Studies at New York University. In addition to appearing on Ottoman History Podcast, he is also editor and co-creator of the Tozsuz Evrak blog.
Onur Engin

Onur is a Ph.D. candidate at Koç University working on the urban history of Ottoman Istanbul. He is also a musician and contributes to our audio editing and production team.
Taylan Güngör

Taylan is a doctoral candidate at SOAS in London. His interests are in Medieval and Pre-Modern Eastern Mediterranean trading circles and his research is on trade in Istanbul after 1453. Taylan records and edits podcasts in London at the SOAS Radio studio.
Dorothée Myriam Kellou

Dorothée is a journalist and filmmaker based in Paris. She has an M.A. in Arab Studies from Georgetown University and is currently developping a film about resettlement of populations during the Algerian War. Dorothée is co-host of our French-language production Tout/MO.
Serkan Şavk

Serkan is a faculty member in the Cinema and Digital Media Department at Izmir University of Economics. He completed a Ph.D. in History at Hacettepe University in 2014. He is a former visiting fellow at Princeton University, working on a project about digital mapping of visual and textual narratives of Istanbul from the 17th and 18th centuries.
Emily Neumeier

Emily is ACLS Postdoctoral Fellow in the Humanities at The Ohio State University and recently earned her Ph.D. from University of Pennsylvania. Her research concerns the art and architecture of the Ottoman Empire and Turkish Republic. She is co-curator of our series on The Visual Past and editor of the blog stambouline, a site where travel and the Ottoman world meet.
Aurelie Perrier

Aurelie holds a Ph.D. in Middle East and North African history from Georgetown University and is a member of the Centre de Recherches Historiques in Paris. She joined the recording team in 2016 as part of our Paris operations and a new French-language podcast series called Tout/MO. Her research interests include the social history of the Middle East, the colonial Maghreb and gender and masculinity in the 19th-century Mediterranean.
Graham Auman Pitts

Graham holds a doctorate in history from Georgetown University's Department of History. His dissertation, "Fallow Fields: Famine and the Making of Lebanon," probes the intersections of ecology, capital, and colonialism in the modern Middle East. He is currently a postdoctoral scholar at North Carolina State University.
Michael Połczyński

Michael holds a Ph.D. from Georgetown University, where he currently teaches courses on the early modern Ottoman Empire and Europe as well as GIS. He is creator and co-producer of The Wild Field podcast.
Michael Talbot

Michael received his Ph.D. from SOAS in 2013 for a thesis on Ottoman-British relations in the eighteenth century. He now lectures and researches on a range of topics in Ottoman history at the University of Greenwich in London. Michael is a longtime contributor to our Tozsuz Evrak blog, and currently records interviews in London or wherever he may be found.
Seçil Yılmaz

Seçil received her PhD degree in History from the Graduate Center, CUNY with her dissertation entitled “Love in the Time of Syphilis: Medicine and Sex in the Ottoman Empire, 1860-1922.” She is currently a Mellon postdoctoral fellow at the Society for the Humanities and Near Eastern Studies at Cornell University. Seçil is co-curator of our series on Women, Gender, and Sex and has appeared as host in both English and Turkish-language episodes.

New in 2018

We have a number of recent additions to our team who are currently training in facets of our recording, editing, and publication process.

Zeinab Azarbadegan

Zeinab Azarbadegan is a PhD candidate in International and Global History at Columbia University. She is currently conducting research for her dissertation project on the subject of sovereignty and citizenship in nineteenth century Ottoman Iraq.
Ella Fratantuono

Ella is an Assistant Professor of History at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Her research focuses on migration and settlement policies in the late Ottoman Empire.
Can Gümüş

Can is a PhD candidate at Boğaziçi University, Atatürk Institute for Modern Turkish History. Her research investigates the link between urbanization and the institutionalization of public health in Ottoman cities in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Abdul Latif

Abdul is an MTS student at Harvard Divinity School focusing on Islamic Studies.
Taylor M. Moore

Taylor is a PhD Candidate in Modern Middle Eastern History at Rutgers University, New Brunswick. She is interested in the interconnected histories of medicine, magic, and ethnographic museums in late nineteenth and early twentieth century Egypt.
Maryam Patton

Maryam is a PhD student at Harvard University in the History and Middle Eastern Studies program. She studies the history of ideas and books in the Early Modern Mediterranean.
Işın Taylan

Işın is a PhD candidate in History at Yale University. Her research examines the Ottoman intellectuals’ production of geographical knowledge in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

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