Secil Uluisik

About Secil Uluisik

I am a Ph.D. candidate at the Department of History with a major in Middle East History and a minor in Comparative History at The University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona, USA. Currently, I am based in Vienna, Austria, as a research fellow at the Austrian Academy of Sciences for the project entitled "Between Sultan and Emperor: Imperial Legacies, Religion, and Governance in Ottoman- Habsburg Borderlands, 1800- 1900".


A native of Turkey, I was born and lived in Turkey until I started my Ph.D. in Arizona, USA. Having visited the Ottoman Archives in Istanbul, Turkey every summer since 2009, I conducted a year-long field research for my dissertation spanning Turkey, Bulgaria and Serbia. As my ten-second elevator pitch, I say: “I knit the two sides of the Atlantic synthesizing different academic cultures on Empires, and aspire to establish an integrative history of Empires.


My areas of expertise include provincial histories, empires, imperial legacies, borderlands, nationalisms, minorities and non-Muslims in the Ottoman Empire, Balkans under the Ottoman rule, and historical religious and cultural dichotomies between historiographies. I was awarded a dissertation research fellowship by the American Research Center in Sofia (ARCS) and a dissertation research grant from the Social and Behavioral Sciences Research Institute (SBSRI) at The University of Arizona. I also received the best paper award at the pre-MESA conference of The American Association of Teachers of Turkic Languages (AATT) in 2015 in Denver, USA.


My dissertation project examines politics of taxation and inter-imperial networks of non- Muslim Ottoman provincial elites during the nineteenth century. My dissertation is tentatively entitled “Empire, Province, and Power: Chorbadzhi Networks in the Ottoman Empire.” My research languages include Turkish, Ottoman Turkish, Bulgarian and Persian in addition to major European languages. I also have reading proficiency in major Slavic languages and Azeri.


I hold a B.A. degree in Economics from Boğazici University, Istanbul, Turkey, and an M.A. degree from the Department of Comparative Studies in History and Societies at Koç University, Istanbul, Turkey. My M.A. thesis was entitled "A Nineteenth Century Sarraf in the Ottoman Empire: Mıgırdıç Cezayirliyan."


Throughout my career at The University of Arizona, I have assumed various teaching roles as a teaching assistant, an instructor, an invited speaker and a guest lecturer. I extensively taught World History I & II and History of Muslim Societies I & II as stand-alone classes at The University of Arizona. Recently, in the summer of 2016, I taught a summer seminar on Turkey-EU relations at Europe's prestigious Alpbach Summer School. I embrace an interactive teaching method in my classes and design my lectures to encourage my students to think critically and to look for innovations in anything they are interested in.


Languages: Turkish, Ottoman Turkish, Persian, German, Azeri, Bulgarian (reading), Macedonian (reading).

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Contact Information

Secil Uluisik
PhD Candidate in Middle East History, Research Fellow, Inst. Modern and Contemporary Historical Research, Austrian Academy of Sciences, Vienna

Dissertation Title

Empire, Province, and Power: Chorbadzhi Networks in the Ottoman Empire, 1790-1860
College of Social and Behavioral Sciences

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