Current Institutional Affiliation
Associate Professor; Director, Source Language Teaching Group, Department of Medieval Studies; Source Language Teaching Group, Central European University

Award Information

International Dissertation Research Fellowship 2002
Institutional Affiliation (at time of award):
History, University of Michigan
Narrating Conversion to Islam -- the Dialogue of Texts and Practices in the Early Modern Ottoman Balkans

My research project will explore the process of conversion to Islam in the early Ottoman Balkans (14th-16th centuries) through a body of traditionally neglected narrative sources of Christian and Muslim provenance. I will endeavor to reconstruct the complex matrix of social and psychological incentives which lead to change of religious affiliation; identify the main participants of the inter-faith dialogue who are in charge of creating a setting amenable to conversion: and discern the social role of the conversion narratives (abundant in my sources) in both proselytization activities of the Muslims and resistance to conversion on the Christians' part. On a more general level, the project will investigate the interrelationship between the negotiation of religious identities and production of narratives that aim to rationalize this process. It will also consider significance of such texts and their ideological implications for contemporary social science debates on ethnoreligious processes in the Balkans and Turkey.