The Post-Ottoman World

HISTORY 103F.003

Fall 2015
Day & Time: 
Th 12-2P
  • Note new room.
  • The Ottoman Empire was established in the fourteenth century and included most of the eastern Mediterranean region, with territories beyond the Danube to the Nile and the Euphrates, until it ceased to exist in 1923. In its wake were established over twenty new successor states, making up predominantly what we now call the Balkans and the Middle East. But what of the Ottoman legacy in the Middle East and Balkans? With very few exceptions the Ottoman past was consciously suppressed and vilified in nation-states from Egypt and Greece to Turkey itself, once the center of the Empire. This course, which features a comparative approach to state formation in the Modern Middle East and Balkans, we will focus on two sets of issues: one, the ways that imperial past persisted despite efforts to eradicate its remnants; and two, the common issues and dilemmas among seemingly unrelated states that were all once part of the Ottoman imperium. After discussing the final years of the Ottoman Empire, we will compare a series of groups, problems, and localities across the Balkans and the Middle East, touching on Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Egypt, Turkey, Israel, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, and Greece.

    Professor Christine Philliou joins the History Department faculty from Columbia University this year and specializes in Ottoman and post-Ottoman Balkans and Middle East, particularly Turkey and Greece. Her work spans the 18th to 20th centuries, and she has written on and taught comparative empires and various interfaces -- political, cultural, social -- in the eastern Mediterranean.

Course Books

Turkey: A Modern History by Erik Jan Zurcher I.B. Tauris. ISBN: 978-1860649585 Optional
The Modern Middle East: A History by James Gelvin Oxford University Press. ISBN: 978-0199766055 Optional
The Balkans by Mark Mazower Random House. ISBN: 978-0812966213 Optional
A Brief History of the Late Ottoman Empire by M. Sukru Hanioglu Princeton University Press. ISBN: 978-0691146171 Optional