Yasemin Akçagüner (MA)

Project Title: Celestial Bodies: Astral Science, Medicine and the Ottoman Lifecycle (1768-1839)

Fellowship Period: May 2022

Yasemin Akçagüner is a doctoral candidate in the History Department at Columbia University. Her dissertation investigates the role astral scientific and medical texts played in the construction of a normative life cycle in the Ottoman Empire. She explores sources ranging from personalized horoscopes to medical encyclopedias from the turn of the nineteenth century, a period coined the “existential crisis of the Empire” when the Ottoman state sought to professionalize the learning and practice of medicine and astral science. Yasemin studies how Ottoman subjects interacted with these changing knowledge-practices to predict and imagine their futures, understand and ascribe meaning to aging, and demarcate the time of their lives. In her time as a Tietze fellow, Yasemin will study rare Ottoman manuscripts from the collections of the Austrian National Library: the medical treatises of rivaling palace physicians Şanizade Mehmed Ataullah Efendi and Mustafa Behçet Efendi who translated and commented on Habsburg anatomical and physiological texts.

Arif Tapan (MA)

Project Title: Expanding the Limits of Writing in Turkish: Armeno-Turkish Periodicals in the 19th Century Ottoman Cultural Production (1850-1900)

Fellowship Period: September-December 2022

Arif Tapan is a doctoral candidate in Turkish Literature at Boğaziçi University. He is working as a research assistant in the Turkish Language and Literature Department at the Social Sciences University of Ankara (SSUA). He obtained his MA degree in Cultural Studies at Istanbul Şehir University with a thesis on the first Armeno-Turkish novels published in the Ottoman Empire in the nineteenth century.

For his doctoral project, Tapan inquires into the modern literary and cultural production of the Ottoman Empire by focusing on nineteenth-century Armeno-Turkish periodicals (newspapers, magazines, booklets). He is particularly interested in how Armeno-Turkish periodicals played a role in developing a modern Ottoman literary culture, a modern Ottoman readership, and authorship.
During his research, Tapan received support from institutions such as the Turkish Language Association (TDK), Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, and Padus-Araxes Cultural Association. As an Andreas Tietze Fellow, he will be tracing the Armeno-Turkish literary periodicals through archival research in Vienna.

Dr. Sümeyye Hoşgör Büke

Project Title: Tracing the Food Consumption of Ottomans through the Tereke Registers of the Grocers in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries

Fellowship Period: TBA

The aim of this project is to reveal the food consumption patterns of ordinary Ottomans in İstanbul through the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries by using the tereke registers of the grocers in three kadıships of the city. The subject of consumption has been gaining popularity in Ottoman history in recent years. However, within the consumption discussions, the food consumption remains a relatively less researched area, and the existing studies are generally concentrated on the elites’ changing food consumption. The studies concerning the “food consumption of ordinary Ottomans” is one of the least interested areas. There are two main underlying reasons for this. While the first can be pointed as the lack of interest of the researchers to the food consumption of the ordinary Ottomans, the second is the claim on the insufficiency of the historical sources. In this context, this project aims to contribute to the related literature and debates by offering the tereke registers of the grocers (bakkal) as a historical source for tracing the food consumption patterns of ordinary Ottomans.