Grants Program

Summer Language Grant Award Winners 2016-2017

Kaleb Herman Adney
UCLA

"Managing Human Capital in a Globalized Economy: Cultural Dynamics of Forced Labor During the Tanzimat Period (1839-1878)"

Kaleb Herman Adney is a Ph.D. student in the History Department at the University of California, Los Angeles where he studies modern middle eastern history from both social and cultural perspectives. He focuses primarily on issues of capitalism and forms of labor including forced labor and slavery. Geographically, he looks at sources from around the Eastern Mediterranean to determine the manner in which Ottoman subjects-cum-citizens dealt with an expansive global market during the Tanzimat period (1839-1878). His work touches on issues of smuggling, lawlessness, and subterfuge within larger discussions of governance and citizenship. Before the Ph.D. program, he obtained an MA in Near Eastern Languages and Cultures at UCLA with an emphasis on Classical Arabic and Ottoman Turkish and two BA degrees, one in Arabic and one in History. Kaleb Herman has spent much time in the Balkans and throughout the Middle East and has passed the summer of 2016 studying Turkish at Boğaziçi University's Turkish Language and Culture program in İstanbul, Turkey and Greek at Aristotle University's Summer Intensive Course in Modern Greek Language in Thessaloniki, Greece.
Camille Lyans Cole
Yale University

"Between Amarah and Muhammerah: Empire, Environment, and Technology in the Making of Modern Iraq and Iran"

Camille Lyans Cole is a third-year Ph.D. student in the department of History at Yale University. Her research focuses on environmental history and the history of technology in late Ottoman Iraq. Specifically, she is interested in the interactions of steamshipping and irrigation technology with the unique wetlands environment of southern Iraq, and how those interactions affected Ottoman, Iranian, and British imperial projects and relationships in the region. The funding she received from the Institute of Turkish Studies will help support my study of Ottoman paleography at the Cunda Intensive Ottoman and Turkish Summer School. Because Ottoman sources will form the backbone of her dissertation research, this summer will be crucial in helping her develop the skills she need to access sources including periodicals, government edicts and correspondence, and travel narratives.
Baran Germen
University of Oregon

"Melodramatics of Turkish Modernity: Narratives of Victimhood, Affect, and Politics"

Baran Germen is a sixth year Ph.D. student in the Department of Comparative Literature at the University of Oregon. He is currently writing his dissertation entitled Melodramatics of Turkish Modernity: Narratives of Victimhood, Affect, and Politics, which examines the aesthetic history of Turkish politics with reference to narratives of victimhood. Linking contemporary discursive strategies and historical narrative forms, this transmedial genealogy delineates the process by which a melodramatic aesthetics of victimhood forms a national affect and state politics around victimhood since the foundation of the Republic. The dissertation identifies melodrama as the paradigmatic narrative mode of Turkish modernity that frames both secularist and Islamist imaginaries.

Germen's other research interests include queer aesthetics and theory, French critical theory, and phenomenology. His article "Of Parks and Hamams" was published in the online journal Assuming Gender in 2015. Germen holds a BA in American Literature and Culture from Baskent University and an MA in Comparative Literature from İstanbul Bilgi University.
Ian Foss Hathaway
Yale University

"Cross-Cultural Circulation and Exchange in the Sixteenth-Century Mediterranean"

Ian Foss Hathaway is a fourth year Ph.D. student in History and Renaissance Studies (BA/MA Universita' degli Studi di Pavia - Pavia, Italy), and he focuses on early modern Mediterranean history. He is interested in the challenges faced by early modern states in controlling the sea, and in the bureaucratic and legal instruments used to facilitate, promote, and event prevent cross-cultural circulation across Mediterranean waters. One chief example of these instruments is the letter of safe conduct, which was extensively used in the Mediterranean during the early modern period. His current dissertation project hopes to explore this topic comparatively, using the Republic of Venice, the Order of St. John of Malta, and the Ottoman Empire as his main case studies. Ottoman source material will thus play a crucial role in his research because of the political and legal influence of the empire in all of the Eastern Mediterranean.
Nadirah Mansour
Princeton University

Nadirah Mansour is a second-year Ph.D. student at Princeton University's Department of Near Eastern Studies. She studies the intellectual history of the Arabic-speaking world and intends to write a history of the Arabic-language press for her dissertation. For the summer of 2016, she studied modern Turkish at Boğaziçi University's Turkish Language and Culture Program in order to start her studies of Ottoman Turkish in the fall. She hopes studying Ottoman Turkish will allow her to better understand how the Ottoman center administrated Arabic-language newspapers and magazines during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Ellen Mary Nye
Yale University

"Social Currency: Prohibitions on Monetary Flows in 18th-Century Ottoman and British Political Economy"

Ellen M. Nye is a first-year Ph.D. Candidate in History at Yale University. She received her B.A. from Dartmouth College and an M.Phil. with distinction from the University of Cambridge. After completing her M.Phil., she spent a year in İstanbul through a Fulbright research grant. With the support of ITS, Ellen will study Ottoman paleography at the Ottoman Studies Foundation's Intensive Ottoman and Turkish Summer School held in Cunda. Ellen's research examines 18th-century merchants who operated in both the British and Ottoman political economies in order to explore economic policies at an imperial and granular level. She is especially interested in consulting British and Ottoman sources to examine state control over monetary flows, the role of social relationships in mediating access to credit, and how goods' cultural associations influenced their regulation in order to contribute to our understanding of the ambitions of state economic policies and their often messy and inconsistent execution.
David Reher
University of Chicago

Intensive Language Study in İstanbul

I am a Ph.D. candidate in History at the University of Chicago. Thanks to the generous ITS summer grant, I am able to finance two months of intensive Turkish study at the Dilmer Institute in İstanbul. This will enrich my dissertation, which examines the place of İstanbul in the Spanish imagination during the European Renaissance. As I expand my methodology to include Turkish historical writings, I will better illustrate the contrast between what the Spanish imagined and the realities in the Ottoman Empire.

Additionally, this will be the final step before Ottoman Turkish, which is integral to a later, project that compares Ottoman and Spanish sources. I hope to shed light on the nature of cultural exchanges between the two nations, and will answer the question of, To what extent did Ottomans use performances of "Western-ness" to assert control over the West, and is there an overlap between these and ones employed in Spain in the opposite direction?
Eileen Sleesman
University of Washington

"Conversion Rates: Online Media and Protestant Christianity in Turkey"

Eileen Sleesman is a third year sociocultural anthropology Ph.D. student at the University of Washington in Seattle. Her research is focused on Christian minorities in Turkey. Presently, she is working with converts to Protestant and Evangelical Christianity with particular attention to the use of communication technologies in community formation, religious training, and proselytization.
Marissa Jeanne Smit
Indiana University

"Masculinity and Boundary Maintenance in Futuwwat"

Marissa Smit is an MA student in the Department of Central Eurasian Studies at Indiana University, Bloomington. She specializes in Turkish history, and in particular in the Seljuk and early Ottoman periods in Asia Minor. Her research focuses on vernacular religious practices, communal identities, their intersection with gender, and theories of empire.

With the support of the Summer Language Study Grant, she will be attending the Intensive Ottoman and Turkish Summer School in Cunda, Turkey during the months of July and August, 2016. She hopes to make progress in reading early Ottoman manuscripts in order to support her ongoing research into masculinity in mediaeval futuwwat-namas. In addition to Turkish, she also studies Persian and modern Greek.

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