Areas of Study
Graduate study in Ottoman history at the Department is inter-disciplinary and encourages a comparative perspective with other regions. Research interests of the faculty covers a wide scope of areas ranging from political and intellectual history, social and cultural history and economic history of the empire in the early modern and modern eras. Some research areas currently pursued by faculty members are:
History of mentalities of the early modern era through first person narratives
Social and cultural history based on funerary inscriptions and practices
Legal transformations in the 19th century
19th-century intellectual history and state ideology
Urban topography of Istanbul
Modern economic history from regional perspectives
Representations of the city and urban life in the early modern era
History of population exchanges and community formation in the modern era
Transformations in ottoman architectural culture in the modern era
History of labor organizations and women in the modern era
Political economy of agrarian transformations in the 19th century
Designed for students who wish to specialize in European history, this field offers two main areas of concentration: Medieval Europe, and Early Modern and Modern Europe.
Beginning with the changes that transformed the late Roman world, this concentration covers the formation of European civilization from the conversion of Constantine to the 15th century. It is designed to acquaint students with basic research tools and major historical problems of the field, including the principal literature, the major interpretations, and the relevant bibliographies.
Early Modern & Modern Europe:
The field of early modern and modern Europe empasizes modern state formations and institutions. Principal focus is on issues emanating from the Enlightenment, including nationalism and revolutions. Political economy of law, agrarian and urban transformations, and major theoretical discussions in European historiography are topics of particular importance.
Medieval Islamic History:
The field of Medieval Islamic history covers the political, social, economic, and cultural developments in the history of the Near East and Western Asia from the end of Late Antiquity to the rise of the pre-modern empires of the Ottomans and the Safavids in the later Middle Ages. Special emphasis is laid on the period of classical Islam under the Abbasids and on the Persiante world (Anatolia to Central Asia) through the Mongol invasions. Students are expected to acquire a general grasp of the history of the wider region in the Middle Ages and a working knowledge of Arabic and/or Persian in addition to focusing on a specific subject for their M.A. theses.
This concentration focuses on the political, social, economic and cultural history of the Byzantine Empire. Students are exposed to major themes in Byzantine history through the study of the principal secondary literature and the primary sources and are expected to gain competence in the required languages (Ancient Greek and/or Latin) and research methods.
History of Art, Architecture and Visual Culture
The graduate program in the History of Art, Architecture, and Visual Culture provides students with the current conceptual insights, methodological tools and discursive protocols employed in the historical study of art, architecture and the urban environment, and promotes original research based on a critical study of visual and written sources. Drawing upon the scholarly strength and diversity of the History Department, it thereby aims to address the visual as an integral part of historical studies. The main agendas of research in the program include the historical contexts of artistic and architectural production, the socio-political meanings of urban form, the visual and spatial representations of power, social order, national / cultural identities and alterity. Applicants are not required to have an undergraduate degree in History, Art History, or Archaeology
Ancient History and Archaeology
The Graduate Program in History offers Ancient History and Archaeology as an area of specialization. The focus is on the history and achaeology of the Eastern Mediterranean Region. Applicants are not required to have an undergraduate degree in History or Archaeology, but will have taken at least four undergraduate courses in Archaeology and/or Ancient History. Reading knowledge of a second modern foreign language (e.g. German, French, Italian) is strongly recommended.
Students specializing in Ancient History and Archaeology follow the general path of the Histoy M.A. program with the following amendments: (1) The M.A. candidate must complete two courses in Theory and Methodology in Archaeology and History of Art and Architecture . (2) Students must take an ancient language course during the first year of study.
Elective courses offered will vary every year covering a geographical range from the Aegean to the Near East with an emphasis on Anatolia. The chronological scope arches from the Bronze Age to the Roman Empire. The aim is to equip students with the necessary tools and critical perspective to approach topics of investigation in the Ancient Eastern Mediterranean World.
Students will be encouraged to participate in Boğaziçi University’s current Interdisciplinary Research Project at Tarsus-Gözlükule.
Graduate study in Asian history focuses on the history of Asian societies with a concentration on the region of China and Japan; emphasis is on the early modern and modern periods. Problems of modernity in Asia and the colonal/imperialist experience are particular topics of study. Comparative study with the Ottoman experience is encouraged. In addition, the comparative study of South Asian history is a possible topic of study. Students are encouraged to begin Chinese or Japanese language training in the undergraduate level, which they can continue at the advanced level in the graduate program.
Boğaziçi University History Department had a pioneering role in the development of the field of oral history in Turkey, having initiated a graduate course since 1996 and hosted international meetings in that field. Introducing an approach where historical reconstructions can also be based on data collected from oral accounts — mainly on life-stories — the study of oral history in the History Department aims at problematizing the process in which historical narrative itself is constructed. Students are therefore introduced to different ways of doing oral history, collecting “additional data” to written sources, searching for the “unheard” voices of the society, but fore and most, observing how the meaning of events are constructed by those who have experienced it as much as by those who wrote about them.