About Us

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 scholarly conversation accessible to a wider public audience.

Click here for a complete episode guide.

Recording Team

Sam Dolbee, Editor in Chief

Sam is an assistant professor in the Department of History at Vanderbilt University. 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 served as Editor in Chief since 2020.
Can Gümüş, Türkçe Editor

Can is a PhD candidate and research assistant at Ataturk Institute for Modern Turkish History, Boğaziçi University. Her ongoing dissertation examines the entanglements between sanitation practices and urbanization in late Ottoman Istanbul. Can joined the OHP team in 2018 and is our current managing editor for Turkish language.
Chris Gratien, Producer & Co-Creator

Chris holds a Ph.D. from Georgetown University and is Associate Professor of History at University of Virginia, where he teaches courses on environmental history and the Middle East. His first book, The Unsettled Plain: An Environmental History of the Late Ottoman Frontier, studies the social and ecological transformation of the Çukurova region of modern Turkey from the Ottoman period to the mid-20th century. Since 2011, Chris has been producer of Ottoman History Podcast, conducting more than 200 interviews to date.

Önder Eren Akgül

Önder completed his Ph.D. at the department of History at Georgetown University. His dissertation examined the history of capitalism and related social and ecological transformations in urban Izmir and rural Western Anatolia in the late Ottoman period. He joined the OHP team in 2018 and currently teaches in the Global & Intercultural Studies Department at Miami University (Ohio).
Zeinab Azarbadegan

Zeinab completed her Ph.D. in International and Global History at Columbia University. SHer dissertation project examined the subject of sovereignty and citizenship in nineteenth century Ottoman Iraq.
Marianne Dhenin, Transcripts and Accessibility

Marianne is a Ph.D. candidate in Near and Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Basel, a researcher in the Leibniz Cooperation Project “The Historicity of Democracy in the Arab and Muslim Worlds,” and a member of the academic staff at the Leibniz Institute of European History. Her dissertation explores how disease and public health shaped the social and spatial order of late 19th- and early 20th-century Egyptian cities. She produces transcripts of our episodes to improve the acessibility of our podcast.
Susanna Ferguson, Associate Producer

Suzie received her Ph.D. in Middle Eastern History from Columbia University and is Assistant Professor of Middle East Studies at Smith College. She joined our recording team in 2014 and was Editor in Chief during 2019. She is a frequent host and also is co-curator of our series on Women, Gender, and Sex.
Matthew Ghazarian, Managing Editor

Matt holds a Ph.D. from Columbia's Department of Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies (MESAAS) and is currently a postdoc at Smith College. His research studies 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.
Shireen Hamza, Managing Editor

Shireen earned her doctorate at the History of Science department at Harvard University, focusing on science and medicine in the Islamicate Middle Ages. Shireen joined the OHP team in 2016.
Maryam Patton, Social Media and Sound Production

Maryam is a PhD candidate at Harvard University in the joint History and Middle Eastern Studies program. Her research explores cultural, intellectual, and scientific exchanges across the early modern Mediterranean. Her dissertation studies the cultural history of time and temporal consciousness in 16th century Istanbul and Venice. In addition to frequently hosting Ottoman History Podcast, she works on sound production for OHP episodes and currently manages our social media. She is also co-producer of our mixtape series The Yayla, as well as the host of "Desert Cruising with Captain Ahab," a weekly rock and metal show at WPRB Princeton.
Brittany White

Brittany White is a Ph.D. student in the Department of History at the University of Virginia. Broadly, she is interested in the African Diaspora in former Ottoman territories. She began recording with Ottoman History Podcast in 2021.


Hundreds of people have appeared on Ottoman History Podcast over the years. Below is a list of some of our long-term contributors.

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. Since the beginning of 2021, she has been Principal Investigator of the research project HOMEACROSS – “Space, Memory and the Legacy of the 1923 Population Exchange between Greece and Turkey” at the Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy, Athens.
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.
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 Onur Engin completed his Ph.D. in Art History at Koç University, working on the sonic history of Ottoman Istanbul. He is also a musician and contributes to our audio editing and production team.
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. A longtime host, Zoe was also a primary contributor to the series "The Making of the Islamic World."
Taylan Güngör, Managing Editor

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.
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.
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.
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 Croft Assistant Professor of History and International Studies at University of Mississippi.
Michael Połczyński

Michael holds a Ph.D. from Georgetown University, where he has taught courses on the early modern Ottoman Empire and Europe as well as GIS. He is creator and co-producer of The Wild Field podcast.
Nir Shafir, Emeritus Host

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.
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.
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.
Seçil Yılmaz

Seçil is Assistant Professor of History at University of Pennsylvania. 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.

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