I am an art historian and currently an Assistant Professor of Islamic Art at the University of Minnesota’s Department of Art History, where I previously completed my PhD. I hold BA degrees in Sociology and History from Koç University and an MA degree in History from Sabancı University in Istanbul. My research and teaching interests lie in the history and visual culture of early modern Islamic courts (Ottomans, Safavids, and Mughals), with a special focus on issues of diplomacy, exchange, materiality, gift-giving practices, and courtly rituals.
My current book project, titled ‘Courtly Encounters in War and Peace: Ottoman-Safavid Gift Exchange, 1501-1660,’ is the first book-length study of the relationship between the Ottoman and Safavid courts from the perspective of visual culture. The project’s broad scope and its emphasis on the countless diplomatic gifts exchanged show that it was not just the wars fought and treaties signed that defined diplomacy and political interaction in the early modern Islamic world, but that objects actively shaped interactions by forming, strengthening, and even breaking ties.
During my year at the EUI as a Max Weber Fellow, I will also be holding a fellowship from the American Council of Learned Societies. My research has also been supported by the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts at the National Gallery of Art, Social Science Research Council, American Research Institute in Turkey, and the Kress Foundation.