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Elyse Semerdjian

ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR, ISLAMIC WORLD/MIDDLE EAST HISTORY

DIRECTOR OF GLOBAL STUDIES (2014-2016)      WHITMAN COLLEGE

Contact Info:

Phone: (509) 522-4428                      Email: semerdve@whitman.edu                           Office:  Maxey Hall 237

Education:

Ph.D. GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY (MIDDLE EASTERN HISTORY)

M.A. THE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN (MIDDLE EASTERN STUDIES)

B.A. ALBION COLLEGE (POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY)

Awards: Fulbright IIE  Syria (1999), Syrian Studies Association Best Dissertation Prize (2004), Fulbright CIES (2007), Ara and Edma Dumanian Visiting Professor in Armenian Studies in the Department of Near Eastern languages and Civilizations at the University of Chicago (Spring, 2013)

Professional Associations:  Elected board member of both the Syrian Studies Association and Turkish Studies Association, Chair of M. Fuat Köprülü Book Prize Committee (Fall 2014)

Areas of Research Interest:  Syria, Ottoman Empire, Turkey, urban history, social history, Armenian history, Islamic law, gender, sexuality, and religious minorities.

Areas of Teaching Interest:  Ottoman Empire, modern Middle East history and politics, nationalism, women in Islam, early Islamic history, Muslim travel literature, Armenian history, and imperialism.

Publications:

Book:  “Off the Straight Path”:  Illicit Sex, Law, and Community in Ottoman Aleppo (Syracuse University Press, 2008).

off_the_straight_pathArticles:

“#SaveKessab, #Save Aleppo, and Kim Kardashian: Syria’s Rashomon Effect” Jadaliyya (April 24, 2014)

“An “Armenian Golden Age”:  Reconstructing the Armenian Urban Footprint in Judayda Quarter, Aleppo,” in Requiem for Ottoman Aleppo/Alep à l’époque ottomane, un requiem, ed. Stefan Winter (forthcoming)

“Sexing the Hammam:  Discourses on Gender and Sexuality in the Ottoman Bathhouse” in Gender and Sexuality in Muslim Cultures ed. Gul Ozyegin (Ashgate, forthcoming)

“Naked Anxiety:  Bathhouses, Nudity, and Muslim/non-Muslim Relations in Eighteenth-Century Aleppo” International Journal of Middle Eastern Studies, 45:4 (November          2013) 651-676.

“‘Because He is So Tender and Pretty’: Sexual Deviance and Heresy in Eighteenth- Century Aleppo” Social Identities: Journal for the Study of Race, Nation, and Culture, 18:2 (March 2012) 175-199.

“Rewriting the History of Sexuality in the Islamic World” Hawwa 4: 1-2 (2006), “Homosexuality in Islam,” Encyclopedia of Religion and Homosexuality (Greenwood Press, 2006).

“Gender Violence and Intent in Ottoman Law: A View of the Imperial Kanunnames and Fetvas of the Sixteenth Century,” in Beyond the Exotic:  Women’s Histories in Islamic Societies, ed. Amira Sonbol (Syracuse, New York, Syracuse University Press, 2005 reprinted American University of Cairo Press, 2006).

“Women, Gender and Domestic Violence” and “Rape in Islam,” Encyclopedia of Women in Islamic Cultures (E.J. Brill, Leiden, 2004).

“Sinful Professions: Illegal Occupations of Women in Ottoman Aleppo, Syria,” Hawwa 1:1, 2003.

Current research projects:

“Armenian Women, Legal Bargaining, and Gendered Politics of Conversion in Eighteenth Century Aleppo” (article manuscript)

A History of Violence:  Collective Memory of the Armenian Genocide Along the Turkish-Syrian Border (book project)

Armenian Society in Early Modern Aleppo, 1600-1800 (book project)

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