Anno Accademico 2022/2023

  • Docente: Cigdem Oguz
  • Crediti formativi: 6
  • SSD: L-OR/10
  • Lingua di insegnamento: Inglese
  • Modalità didattica: Convenzionale - Lezioni in presenza
  • Campus: Bologna
  • Corso: Laurea Magistrale in Scienze storiche e orientalistiche (cod. 8845)

    Valido anche per Laurea Magistrale in Religioni Storie Culture (cod. 5890)

Conoscenze e abilità da conseguire

After completing the course students have a detailed historical knowledge of the main cultural, social and political transformations that took place in the Islamic world and in the Middle East from the 13th century to the contemporary era. They have analytical skills and are familiar with the theoretical, methodological and technical tools of the historical-religious disciplines and the social sciences for the study of relations between confessions and religions in the context of the Ottoman Empire, with attention to the socio-political implications of the interaction among groups. They are able to evaluate religious phenomena and dynamics in local and global socio-cultural contexts, to identify socio-cultural matrix of religions, as well as connections, developments, persistences and transformations of religious phenomena in complex societies such as those of the Ottoman Empire and to address and solve issues related to the management of religious pluralism. They apply investigative methodologies to critically engage with primary and secondary sources useful for exploring the significance of the Ottoman Empire for world history. They are able to communicate in written and oral form using the different models and registers of communication of the historical disciplines and to give form, including project design, to the results of research, supporting with complete evidence the information on which they base their conclusions and accounting for the methodologies used. They know how to communicate, edit and publish research results.


The program deals with the history of the Ottoman Empire with an emphasis on its geography, frontiers, and relations based on certain units/themes of study. The program follows a semi-cronological approach and a thematic division of topics. These topics are not only chosen to elaborate on watershed moments in the history of the Empire, but also to reflect on the empire’s role in global events.

It is highly recommended to the students not to miss the first week of the program during which a general introduction will be presented by the instructor.


The textbook of the course is Marc David Baer, The Ottomans: Khans, Caesars and Caliphs, London: Basic Books, 2021. Each student (attending or not attending) has to read the entire book. The readings that are listed under the themes are for student presentations.

WEEK 1. Baer, Chapters 1, 2, 4

WEEK 2. Baer, Chapters 8-13

Theme 1: The Ottomans in Europe, the Europeans in the Ottoman Empire

Suraiya Faroqhi, The Ottoman Empire and the World Around it, London, New York: I.B. Tauris, 2004, pp. 179-211. (Chapter 8 “Sources of information on the outside world”).

Theme 2: The Ottoman Empire in the Mediterranean and Indian Ocean

Molly Greene, “The Ottomans in the Mediterranean,” in The Early Modern Ottomans: Remapping the Empire, Virginia H. Aksan & Daniel Goffman (eds.), New York: Cambridge University Press, 2007, pp. 104-117.

Pal Fodor, “Maltese pirates, Ottoman Captives and French Traders in the Early Seventeenth-century Mediterranean,” in Ransom Slavery along the Ottoman Borders, Geza David and Pal Fodor (eds.), Leiden: Brill, 2007, pp. 221-239.

WEEK 3. Baer, Chapters 14, 16

Theme 1: The Middle East, Islam, Law, and the millets

Karen Barkey, Empire of Difference: The Ottomans in Comparative Perspective, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008, pp. 109-153. (Chapter 4, Maintaining Empire: An Expression of Tolerance)

Theme 2: The Ottoman Islamic World

Karen Barkey, Empire of Difference: The Ottomans in Comparative Perspective, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008, pp. 154-197. (Chapter 5, The Social Organization of Dissent)

WEEK 4. Baer, Chapters 17-19

Theme 1: Gender

Tuba Demirci and Selçuk Akşin Somel, “Control over Feminine Body, Procreation and Public Health: Demography, Bio-Politics and Abortion in the Ottoman Empire (1789-1908),” Journal of the History of Sexuality Vol. 17-3 (2008), pp. 377-420.

Serpil Çakır, “Feminism and Feminist history-writing in Turkey: The Discovery of Ottoman Feminism,” Aspasia, vol. 1, 2007.

Theme 2: Labor and workers

Rhoads Murphey, “The Ottoman Economy in the Early Imperial Age,” in The Ottoman World, (Christine Woodhead, ed.) New York: Routledge, 2012, pp. 25-40.

Quataert, Donald. “Labor History and the Ottoman Empire, c. 1700-1922.” International Labor and Working-Class History, no. 60 (2001): 93–109.

WEEK 5. Baer, Chapters 20-22

Theme 1: The “Eastern Question” and the Ottoman Age of Reforms

Erik Jan Zürcher, “The Young Turk Revolution: Comparisons and Connections,” Middle Eastern Studies, 55:4, (2019): 481-498.

Ozan Ozavci, Dangerous Gifts: Imperialism, Security, and Civil Wars in the Levant (1798-1864), Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2021, pp. 1-20.

Theme 2: The Empire at War

Eugene Rogan, The Fall of the Ottomans: The Great War in the Middle East, New York: Basic Books, 2015, pp. 1-28; 385-406.

Erik Jan Zürcher, “Between Death and Desertion: The Experience of the Ottoman Soldier in World War I,” Turcica, 28, (1996): 235-258.

Metodi didattici

The lectures will be followed by seminar discussions. Students are expected to participate discussions actively by reading the texts before the class.

Modalità di verifica e valutazione dell'apprendimento

Students who attend at least 75% of the lessons are considered to be attending.

Attending students: The assessment is divided into: 30% class presentation, 10% participation to the class discussions, 60% final oral exam.

Every student is required to read the textbook. Other readings are for the presentations. Each student will choose a theme among these and prepare a presentation of 15 minutes to be given at the class. At the end of the first week, the students are required to choose their themes for presentations. Depending on the number of the students, the themes and readings will be decided in consultation with the instructor.

Not attending students are required to pass an oral exam based on the textbook and

they have to answer questions that will be based on this book:

Suraiya Faroqhi, The Ottoman Empire and the World Around it, London, New York: I.B. Tauris, 2004.

The questions aim to verify the student’s skills in making connections between different texts, assessing the main argument of the readings, and critically engaging with the arguments.

The grades (attending and not attending) will be assigned according to these criteria:

Proper language and the ability to critically speak about the readings will lead to a good/excellent final grade

Acceptable language and the ability to resume the readings will lead to a sufficient/fair grade

Insufficient linguistic proficiency and fragmentary knowledge of the readings will lead to a failure in passing the exam.

Strumenti a supporto della didattica

Power-points, maps, translated primary sources and online sources will be utilized throughout the course.

Orario di ricevimento

Consulta il sito web di Cigdem Oguz


Istruzione di qualità Parità di genere Ridurre le disuguaglianze Pace, giustizia e istituzioni forti

L'insegnamento contribuisce al perseguimento degli Obiettivi di Sviluppo Sostenibile dell'Agenda 2030 dell'ONU.