Uğur Z. Peçe

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Assistant Professor



PhD, Stanford University, 2016


Ottoman Empire, Middle East, Global




I am a historian of the Ottoman Empire and modern Middle East. I am currently working on a book manuscript titled, Island and Empire: The Displacement of Crete’s Muslims and the Rise of Modern Protest in the Ottoman World. This project interrogates the linkages between European imperialism, displacement, and popular protest in the Ottoman world around the turn of the twentieth century. I demonstrate how military intervention in Crete by Britain, France, Italy, and Russia triggered the forced migration of the island’s Muslims in the late 1890s. I argue that their displacement set in motion a massive movement of popular protest across the Ottoman Empire, with echoes further afield among Muslims in Central Asia and British India. Drawing on archival work in six countries and languages, Island and Empire shows how turmoil initially confined to an island became internationalized and shaped the contours of protest culture in the Ottoman world.

Born and raised in Turkey, I received my PhD in History from Stanford University (2016). I hold MA degrees in Southeast European Studies from the University of Athens and in History from Sabancı University. I received my BA in Economics from Boğaziçi University. Before coming to Lehigh in the fall of 2018, I taught as a Visiting Assistant Professor in History & Middle Eastern Studies at Bard College and as a Lecturer in History & Literature at Harvard University. I teach the broad sweep of the history of the Ottoman Empire and the Middle East as well as thematic courses on migration, empires, global history, and historiography. I have a special interest in graphic novels as a genre and am working with my brother Yusuf on a graphic novel set in the final decades of the Ottoman Empire.


Select publications:

“The Conscription of Greek-Ottomans into the Sultan’s Army, 1908-1912,” International Journal of Middle East Studies, vol. 52, no. 3 (2020): 433-448. 

“An Island Unmixed: European Military Intervention and the Displacement of Crete’s Muslims, 1896-1908,” Middle Eastern Studies, vol. 54, no. 4 (2018): 575-591.