Ali Yaycioglu is a historian of the Ottoman Empire and Modern Turkey. His research centers on the economic, political, and legal institutions, ideas and practices; forms of accumulating and losing power and wealth; spatial organization of the Ottoman empire and Turkey; and the transformation of the social-religious order from the eighteenth to the early twentieth centuries. He also has a research agenda on how people imagined, represented and recorded property, territory, and nature in early periods and how we can use digital tools to understand, visualize and conceptualize these imaginations, representations and recordings. Dr. Yaycioglu teaches courses on the Middle East and the Balkans during the Ottoman rule; history of Muslim world from medieval to modern times; empires, markets and networks in Muslim Afro-Eurasia; and economic, social and cultural history Modern Turkey.
Professor Yaycioglu's first book, Partners of the Empire: Crisis of the Ottoman Order in the Age of Revolutions (Stanford University Press, 2016) offers a radical rethinking of the Ottoman Empire within the global context of the revolutionary age in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. His current book project, The Ultimate Debt: Power, Wealth and Death inthe Ottoman Empire, analyzes the relationship between death, debt and redistribution in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries in the Ottoman World. It examines how obligations and liabilities were restructured; assets were redistributed; and objects changed their owners when people died. The book focuses on various case studies of postmortem settlements under the light of probate inventories. One of the aims of the book is to re-conceptualize the Ottoman political-economic order through uncertainties, risks and opportunities after death.
Ali Yaycioglu is the supervisor of a digital history project, Mapping Ottoman Epirus, housed in Stanford’s Center for Spatial and Textual Analysis (CESTA). MapOE is big data project, which aims to analyze and illustrate the spatial dimension of political, economic, infra-structural, and environmental relations in the Ottoman Empire. MapOE focuses on a region (Epirus - today Western Greece and Southern Albania) and period (late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries), as an exemplary microcosm of the Ottoman Empire. To this aim, MapOE is producing a number of digital projects for spatial and quantitative analysis, based on big data extracted from multi-lingual archival sources from the Ottoman period.
Born and raised in Ankara, Turkey, Ali Yaycioglu studied International Relations at the Middle East Technical University and Ottoman History under the supervision of Professor Halil Inalcik at Bilkent University. Then, he studied Arabic and Islamic legal history at McGill University in Montreal. Yaycioglu completed his Ph.D. in History and Middle Eastern Studies at Harvard in 2008. After his Ph.D., Yaycioglu carried out post-doctoral studies in the Agha Khan Program for Islamic Architecture at the same university and then in Hellenic Studies at Princeton. He joined the History Department at Stanford in 2011. Professor Yaycioglu is a board member of Stanford’s Center for Spatial and Textual Analysis (CESTA) and an associate member of the Centre d'études turques, ottomanes, balkaniques et centrasiatiques at L'École des hautes études en sciences sociales in Paris.
Ottoman Topologies: Production of Space in an Early Modern Empire (with Cemal Kafadar) in progress, to be submitted to Stanford University Press.
Articles in Progress
“Ottoman Mountainology: Empire, Highlands, and Mountaineers,” to be published in Festschrift for Cemal Kafadar, with Ilham Khuri-Makdisi and Rachel Goshgarian (under contract, Academic Studies Press, to be submitted in 2018). (with Molly Greene)
“Kendine Ait Bir Tarih: İmparatorluk, Cumhuriyet ve Yeni Türkiye,” [An Ottoman of One's Own: History between Restoration and Revolution] in Post-Kemalizm ve Sonrası: Yeni bir Paradigmayı Ararken, edited by İlker Aytürk (under contract, İletişim Yayınları, Istanbul, to be published in 2019)
“Spatiality in an Early Modern Empire (Henri Lefebvre Meeting Evliya Çelebi)” With Cemal Kafadar to be published as the introductory article in Ottoman Topologies: Production of Space in an Early Modern Empire (edited by Cemal Kafadar and Ali Yaycioglu) in progress, to be submitted to Stanford University Press in early 2019.
“Space, Nature and Order: Geo-Power of Ali Pasha of Epirus in Ottoman Greece and Albania” to be published in Ottoman Topologies: Production of Space in an Early Modern Empire (edited by Cemal Kafadar and Ali Yaycioglu) in progress, to be submitted to Stanford University Press in early 2019.