Core Class + tutorial: Sources, Methods and New Perspectives in Ottoman History (15th to 18th centuries)

Course Description: 

Based on a range of primary sources, the main aim of this course is to familiarize students with the history of the Ottoman Empire in the period between 1450 and 1750 C.E. With this goal in mind, we will not only examine various archival, narrative and visual sources in different languages and formats (e.g. in manuscript, transcription or translation), but also discuss the history and historiography of the early modern Ottoman state and society, especially in relation to the different ways/methods in which scholars have approached these sources and related major topics in the field. Accordingly, we will also look into the most recent (revisionist) scholarship which aims to bring new perspectives on the dynamics and problems that shaped the Ottoman world during this period.

Learning Outcomes: 

-        Rethinking the critical notions of 'early modern state formation' 'imperial decline', 'crisis' and 'change' in the context of world history in general, and in Ottoman historiography in particular

-        A critical understanding of the range of historical sources and related historiographical and theoretical debates in early modern Ottoman history

-        Developing an in-depth knowledge of the most important literature, themes, debates, methods, concepts, issues and approaches on Ottoman history in the period 1450-1750 CE;

-        Considering new methodological approaches to the old and new sources in relation to early modern Ottoman field;

-        Acquiring and/or strengthening interdisciplinary approaches in the field of history.


In-class presence:  Regular attendance for both lecture and discussion sessions are required. Up to two absences are excused while any unexcused absence will affect your grade.

Participation: This is a seminar-type class that relies on active student participation, thus expects all students come to each session prepared and be familiar with all the weekly assigned readings: 15 pts. 

Discussion questions: Each student will be responsible for preparing a set of 5 discussion questions related to weekly readings, twice during the term: 10 pts. 

Response papers: 3 response papers, 3-4 pages in length (Times New Roman, double-spaced, font 12): 45 pts (15 pts each).

Final Paper (8-10 pages): Based on a primary source or topic of your choice (30 pts).

Students who are taking the class as a 2-credit elective course: are not expected to attend the tutorials or write a Final Paper, their participation in class discussion counts for 15 pts; discussion questions count for 10 pts; three response papers (3-4 pages) to the readings: 75 pts (25 pts each).