Current Institutional Affiliation
Assistant Professor, History, University of Virginia

Award Information

International Dissertation Research Fellowship 2012
Institutional Affiliation (at time of award):
History, Georgetown University
‘The Mountains Are Ours’: Malaria, Resettlement and Social Change in Ottoman Çukurova (1856-1896)

My dissertation examines the social and ecological effects of resettlement policies in the Ottoman Empire, focusing on the forced settlement campaigns of transhumant tribal communities in the Adana region of Southern Anatolia during the 1860s and their impacts on these communities as well as the subsequent reactions to settlement policies in the decades that followed. I am particularly interested in the impact of malaria on resettled communities and the measures taken to alleviate the pervasive effects of the disease in the highly malarial plains of Çukurova. I am also interested in the ways in which these settlement campaigns intersect with emerging economic relationships between the Ottoman provinces and world agricultural markets. This study is a contribution to the nascent field of social environmental history of the Middle East that has global relevance. Because the Adana region was a space situated somewhere between the colonial and the national during the nineteenth century, it reveals much about the phenomena of the emerging nation-state as well as global capitalism and settler colonialism. My research has implications for our understanding of social restructuring of the modern Middle East and the breakdown of Muslim-Christian relations in the Ottoman Empire during its last few decades. It also provides a close-up picture of the role of violence in shaping the emerging world economy and examines the ways in which states react or fail to react to ecological and humanitarian crises brought on by irreversible changes implemented through coercion. It is above all an illustration of the extent to which the ideologies of civilization and progress make good on their promises in practice when wielded by modern states operating in the service of a number of conflicting interests.