Having completed her MA thesis on the life histories of enslaved Africans in the nineteenth-century Ottoman Empire, Özgül Özdemir became determined to study slavery in the often- overlooked intersection of Ottoman and African history. Özgül’s work on the Transnational, International, Global History track, supervised by Professor Richard Roberts and Professor Ali Yaycıoğlu, examines how slavery and abolition pitted regional and imperial powers against each other in the Red Sea region and thus shaped the histories of the region as well as the lives of enslaved and manumitted Africans.
Özgül’s intellectual interests span world regions and disciplines. Her previous work as an archivist has further nourished her love for archives, where she delves into other worlds and times. Currently, she is a visiting scholar at the Newberry Library in Chicago. Her writings have been published or are forthcoming in UNESCO General History of Africa, the Journal of Global Slavery, and the English Historical Review.