Ayse Baltacioglu-Brammer

Assistant Professor   
History of Early Modern Ottoman Empire and the Middle East
Ph.D., Ohio State University                                    
Office: LT 605 
E-mail: abaltaci@binghamton.edu

I am a specialist in Middle Eastern history with a focus on early modern Ottoman and Safavid Empires.  The questions surrounding the Sunni-Shi‘ite conflict during the early modern period and its enmeshment with issues of political, religious, and fiscal legitimacy in inter-confessional and inter-imperial contact zones is at the core of my research interests. Drawing upon extensive research in Turkey and Iran, I explore the Sunni-Shi‘ite divergence in the early modern period, not merely as religiously derived, but as a meticulously carried out geo-political battle that formed the base of the sectarian conflict in the region today. Breaking away from the traditional sectarian narratives, I examine varying Ottoman and Safavid state policies, the formation of Ottoman and Safavid Shi‘ite communities, and the importance of pro-Safavid religious and political propaganda in the context of state and identity formation and confessionalization. My overall goal is twofold: while I aim to shed light on the often-neglected socio-political and fiscal aspects of religious policies and decisions, I also examine the applicability of the notions of confessionalization and social disciplining to Ottoman and Safavid state formation from the mid-fifteenth to the mid-seventeenth century.


Recent or current undergraduate courses

  • Early Islamic Empires: The Ottomans, the Safavids, the Mughals
  • Sectarianism and Sectarian Conflicts in the Middle East
  • Gender and Sexuality in the Middle East
  • History of Early Islamic Societies, 600-1258
  • Global World History, 1500 to present


Recent or current graduate courses

  • Early Modern Ottoman State and Society
  • History of Twelver Shi‘ism


Select Publications

  • “The Emergence of the Safavids as a Mystical Order and Their Subsequent Rise to Power in the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Centuries.”  In The Safavids, ed. Rudi Matthee. London: Routledge, forthcoming 2016.
  • “The Formation of Kızılbaş Communities in Anatolia and Ottoman Responses, 1450s-1630s.”International Journal of Turkish Studies Vol 20, Nos. 1&2 (2014): 21-48.
  • “The Origins of Alawites and the Alawite Capture of Power in Syria.” In Origins: Current Events in Historical Perspective, November 2013.


Select Grants and Fellowships

  • Ohio State University Presidential Fellowship, 2015-2016.
  • Ruth Higgins Research Grant, 2015.
  • Mershon Center Graduate Student Research Grant, 2013.
  • Ohio State University, Department of History, Sydney N. Fisher Award, 2010.
  • Bradley Foundation Research Grant, 2013-2014.


Last Updated: 8/12/16