Publications & Forthcoming Publications

Review of An Ottoman Cosmography: Translation of Cihānnümā. By Kātib Çelebi. Edited by Gottfried Hagen and Robert Dankoff. Translated by Ferenc Csirkés, John Curry, and Gary Leiser. Leiden: Brill, 2021.
Journal of Near Eastern Studies 82, No. 2 (October 2023): 271–2.

"This weighty volume, entitled An Ottoman Cosmography, represents the culmination of a decade-long collaborative effort to render Kātib Çelebi’s Ottoman Turkish Cihānnümā—one of the most influential Ottoman geographic works by perhaps the Empire’s best-known scholar—into English. It is, as Gottfried Hagen reminds us in his introduction, the first full translation of this important text into a western language, as well as the first English translation of any work by Kātib Çelebi since Geoffrey Lewis published his Mīzānü’l-ḥaḳḳ fī iḫtiyāri’l-aḥakk as The Balance of Truth in 1957."

Review of Silent Teachers: Turkish Books and Oriental Learning in Early Modern Europe, 1544–1669. By Nil Ö. Palabıyık. New York: Routledge, 2023.
Zemin No. 6 (2023): 242–247.

"Browsing the robust literature on the scholarly practices of early modern European orientalists, a reader could be forgiven for thinking that these scholars lacked all enthusiasm for learning Ottoman Turkish, the written language of the cultural and administrative elite of the empire that then controlled the core Islamic lands. Yet, almost inexplicably, sitting in any of the continent’s numerous manuscript libraries, the researcher confronts an enormous wealth of Ottoman manuscripts and reading aids. Nil Ö. Palabıyık’s Silent Teachers: Turkish Books and Oriental Learning in Early Modern Europe, 1544–1669 offers us the first steps out of this paradox, providing a sorely needed corrective to our existing understanding of the place of Ottoman Turkish in orientalist scholarship. Palabıyık takes aim at a literature which has portrayed these scholars as neglectful of Turkish, and the language as a “workaday tongue” that “would hardly feature … in their scholarly activities.” By shifting the focus from printed grammars and translations to copy-specific research, orientalists’ Turkish-language manuscripts, and the traces of their readings, Palabıyık demonstrates the importance that these early modern orientalists attributed to the study of Ottoman Turkish. In the process, Palabıyık reveals how scholars, in northern and western continental Europe, emulated the methods of their Ottoman counterparts, relying on Turkish commentaries, dictionaries, and other reading aids to explicate difficult Arabic and Persian texts."

Works in Progress

The Origins of an Ottoman Bourgeois Social Reformer: Recontextualizing Mustafa Suphi’s Early Thought

‘You may not complaine in so bad a place you have spent your time in vaine:’ Towards a Microhistory of the 17th Century English Consul Thomas Potton