Current Institutional Affiliation
Assistant Professor, History, City University of New York (CUNY) / The City College of New York

Award Information

International Dissertation Research Fellowship 2005
Institutional Affiliation (at time of award):
History, New York University (NYU)
Subjects of the Tsar, Brothers of the Sultan: The Ferghana Valley between Russian Colonialism and Ottoman Pan-Islamism

This dissertation will use newly available archival materials in Istanbul, Turkey to reconstruct Ottoman relations with Central Asia in the late 19th century, and to examine the Ottoman role in supporting and/or fomenting resistance to Russian colonialism. Taking a major 1898 rebellion in Andijan (now in Uzbekistan) lead by a Naqshbandi sheikh claiming to have Ottoman support as my focal point, I will investigate how this uprising can be understood vis-a-vis Sultan Abdulhamid H's promotion of pan-Islamist politics and rhetoric. My research in Turkey will focus on uncovering the details ofHamidian policy vis-a-vis Asia and the role of Naqshbandi networks in maintaining unofficial relations between Istanbul and the Ferghana Valley, a densely populated region in the heart of Central Asia. This research will complement research I am currently undertaking in Uzbekistan and which uses court records to reconstruct the local socio-economic context of this uprising. By studying the Ferghana Valley within the framework of geopolitical and regional trends in the greater Islamic world, I seek to challenge ideologically-driven Russian/Soviet scholarship and historiographical works emphasizing the region's alleged isolation. At the same time, I am interested in investigating the role that Ottoman relations with Asia played in the politics of Hamidian legitimation.