Morgan’s dissertation explores the construction and consolidation of the long and contested border between Safavid Iran and the Ottoman Empire in the sixteenth century. His research investigates the strategies of the Kurdish aristocracy to gain greater political clout and cultural prestige in the Safavid and Ottoman imperial courts. Further, his work analyzes the internal competition and rivalry that defined the disparate Kurdish claims over their ancestral domains. Based on sources in Persian, Ottoman Turkish, and Arabic, he studies the career of the indigenous institutions of the Kurdish principality and its integration into the imperial administrations.
Apart from identifying the various mechanisms of early modern border formation, Morgan also examines the role of imperial and local historiography in securing these regions. His works scrutinizes the Ottomans, Safavids, and Kurdish usage of history as an instrument of dynastic legitimation to establish their territorial claims.
Prior to his graduate studies at Stanford, he studied history and political science in Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (2010) and in the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris, France (2013). He also studied Turkish, Persian, and Arabic in the Institut National des Langues et Civilisations Orientales in Paris and in the American University of Beirut, Lebanon (2016). His research was rewarded with the Walter G. Andrews Ottoman Turkish Translation Award in 2020