Grants Program

Research Grantees 2014-2015

Dissertation Writing Grant Awardees
Jeffery Dyer
Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of History, Boston College

Jeffery Dyer is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of History at Boston College. His dissertation examines the increased Ottoman engagement with their southern frontiers in the Arabian Peninsula and territories throughout the Indian Ocean in the period between 1870 and World War I. In particular, his project analyzes the role of officials in the southern Arabian provinces and consular outposts in Bombay, Batavia, and Singapore in regulating the commercial and migratory networks that linked the Ottoman provinces to distant parts of Asia and Africa. The Dissertation Writing Grant from the Institute of Turkish Studies will provide the support necessary to continue writing his dissertation with the goal of completing the project in the 2015-2016 academic year.
Yasemin Gencer
Ph.D. candidate in the Department of the History of Art, Indiana University, Bloomington

Yasemin Gencer is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of the History of Art at Indiana University, Bloomington. She specializes in Islamic art and visual culture in the Ottoman Empire and Turkish Republic. Based on two years of field research in İstanbul (2011-2013), Gencer is currently writing her dissertation entitled "Delivering the Satirical Punch: Reform, Secularism, and Nationalism in the Cartoons of the Early Republican Period in Turkey (1923-1928)," which analyzes Turkish political cartoons published during the earliest years of the Republic. By focusing on cartoons that illustrate and support the new regime's various social and political reforms, Gencer's project pinpoints the rhetorical methods employed by these images to construct and promote an idealized vision of the new Turkish Republic as both modern and secular. The Dissertation Writing Grant from the Institute of Turkish Studies will enable Gencer to complete her dissertation during the 2014-2015 academic year.
Alana M. Henninger
Ph.D. Candidate in the Criminal Justice, The City University of New York

Alana Henninger is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Criminal Justice program at The Graduate Center of the City University of New York. Her research is a mixed method, cross-country comparison of institutional responses to honor violence in Turkey and England. This study examines the differences in and challenges to responses to honor violence, and the presence of discriminatory responses in criminal justice and social service organizations. The purpose of this research is to provide a model for an American response to honor violence, respond to the arguments concerning the codification of honor violence, and discuss the broader implications of institutional responses that address violence against women yet respect religious customs and norms. The generous support from the Institute of Turkish Studies Dissertation Writing Grant will allow Alana to focus on completing the writing of her dissertation.
Elizabeth Nolte
Ph.D. Candidate in Near and Middle East Studies University of Washington

Elizabeth Nolte is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Interdisciplinary Ph.D. Program in Near and Middle East Studies at the University of Washington. She focuses on modern Turkish literature, literary history, censorship, and world literature studies. Her research examines the life, works, and legacy of the iconic and reluctantly political Turkish author Ahmet Hamdi Tanpınar (1901-1962). At present, she is investigating the concurrent proliferation of literature and censorship that occurred during Turkey's transition to a multiparty democracy in the 1950s and 60s. With the support of the Institute of Turkish Studies, she will begin writing her dissertation, "Charting the Troubled Times: Locating Ahmet Hamdi Tanpınar's Literary Legacy in the Era of Republican Transformations."

Return to top


Sabbatical Grant Awardees
Dr. Birsen Bulmuş
Associate Professor of Modern Middle Eastern History, Appalachian State University

Dr. Birsen Bulmuş is associate professor of modern Middle Eastern history at Appalachian State University. She is the author of Plague, Quarantines and Geopolitics in the Ottoman Empire (2012), published by Edinburgh University Press. A Turkish edition of the book is forthcoming through Küre Yayınları. Her book is the most comprehensive study of plague in the Ottoman Empire from 1300 until the end of WWI through the perspective of plague. She first looked at the concept of plague and premodern medical, religious and magical measures taken to combat the disease. She then examined the establishment of quarantines and its geopolitical consequences for the survival of the Ottoman Empire vis-à-vis European colonial powers during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. She is using the 2014-2015 ITS Sabbatical Research Grant to work on her new project - a history of syphilis in the Ottoman Empire and Modern Turkey from 1492 until 1950.
Joshua David Hendrick
Assistant Professor of Sociology and Global Studies, Loyola University Maryland

In the early days of the 2013 Gezi Park protests, Turkey's mainstream print and television news media went dark. When international media picked up the slack, and when social media sources became overwhelmed with postings from protesters inside the park, it became clear that mainstream news in Turkey was broken. Is Turkey's fourth estate beyond repair? With the support of sabbatical research funding from the Institute of Turkish Studies, I will continue a fieldwork-based project that began during the duration of Turkey's "Gezi Park Uprisings." I will conduct a second phase of fieldwork with an aim to collect additional career history interview data from a diverse sample of mainstream Turkish journalists, media activists, and social media practitioners. This research will provide the foundation for two journal articles. The first will focus on the state of democratization in Turkey from the perspective of the free press; the second will focus on the social tensions that characterize "the new Turkey," and the implications of Turkish instability in a rapidly transforming region.

Return to top


Post-Doc Summer Travel Grant Awardees
Will Smiley
Research Associate, Center for History and Economics, Harvard University, and Postdoctoral Research Associate (2014-15), Department of Near Eastern Studies, Princeton University

The ITS grant will help support one month of archival research in the Başbakanlık Ottoman archives in İstanbul. This work will help me revise and extend my doctoral dissertation for publication as a monograph, tentatively titled "When Peace Comes, You Will Again Be Free: Law, Slavery, and 'Prisoners of War' in the Ottoman Empire". This work examines transitions in the eighteenth- and nineteenth-century law and practice of Ottoman slavery and captivity. It situates the origins of the "prisoner of war" in several important contexts - Ottoman political transformations, new conceptions of legal identity, changes in military practice, and the evolution of international law. My dissertation research focused on the period before 1830, and this trip will allow me to deepen my understanding of Ottoman perspectives on captivity during the 1853-1856 Crimean War and 1877-1878 Doksan Üç Harbi/Russo-Turkish War, and in the 1856 Treaty of Paris and 1899 Hague Convention.

Return to top