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. Chris currently devotes most of his energies on the podcast towards the development of the Deporting Ottoman Americans investigative series.

Nir Shafir, Associate Producer

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. Nir was Editor in Chief of Ottoman History Podcast during 2018, and he is curator of our series on the History of Science.
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.


2019 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.

Susanna Ferguson, Editor in Chief

Suzie received her PhD in Middle Eastern History from Columbia University in May 2019, with a dissertation entitled "Tracing Tarbiya: Women, Gender and Childrearing in Egypt and Lebanon, 1860-1939." Suzie joined our recording team in 2014 and is currently based in Cambridge, MA. As Editor in Chief, Suzie organizes all aspects of the editorial decision-making process and publishing schedule. She is a frequent host and also is co-curator of our series on Women, Gender, and Sex.
Can Gümüş, Türkçe Editor

Can joined the OHP team in 2018 and is our current managing editor for Turkish language. She 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.
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 joined the OHP team in 2016.
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 in recording and audio editing.
Sam Dolbee, Managing Editor

Sam is a postdoctoral associate at Yale University's Program in Agrarian Studies. He works on the environmental history of the Jazira region, and is interested in agriculture, mobility, and science. Working with Ottoman History Podcast intermittently since 2012, Sam has been involved in developing new episode formats and is currently script editor for the Deporting Ottoman Americans series.


Production Team

Önder Eren Akgül

Önder is a Ph.D. candidate in the department of History at Georgetown University. His dissertation focuses on the social and environmental history of Izmir and its rural hinterland in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
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 Assistant Dean of Research at the Elliott School of International Affairs at the George Washington University, where he teaches courses in historical geography and Middle East Studies. He holds a PhD in Middle East History from Georgetown University. His book project examines how political economic transformations in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries shaped the culture of tea drinking in Morocco and the Sahara. He is also the editor of tajine, our series on the history and culture of North Africa.
Zoe Griffith

Zoe is Assistant Professor of History at Baruch College, CUNY and completed her Ph.D. at Brown University in 2017. Her research focuses on political economy, law, and governance in the Ottoman Arab provinces from the 17th to the 19th centuries. She records mainly in New York City.
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.
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 Assistant Professor of Art History at Temple University. She earned her Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 2016. Her research concerns the art and architecture of the Islamic world, particularly of the Ottoman Empire and the Turkish Republic. She is co-curator of our series on The Visual Past.
Maryam Patton

Maryam is a PhD candidate at Harvard University in the joint History and Middle Eastern Studies program. She is interested in early modern cultural exchanges, and her dissertation studies cultures of time and temporal consciousness in the Eastern Mediterranean during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. In addition to her work on the Ottoman History Podcast, she is also co-producer of our mixtape series The Yayla.
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 the American Druze Foundation Fellow at Georgetown's Center for Contemporary Arab Studies.
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 is Senior Lecturer in the History of the Ottoman Empire and Modern Middle East at the University of Greenwich in London. He received his Ph.D. from SOAS in 2013 for a thesis on Ottoman-British relations in the eighteenth century. 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 is Assistant Professor of History at Franklin and Marshall College. She 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.” 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 2019

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.
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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