IOWC Postdoctoral Fellow: Zozan Pehlivan

Dr. Zozan Pehlivan is a postdoctoral research fellow at the Indian Ocean World Centre. 
After completing her undergraduate degree in History at Istanbul Bilgi University, she received a full scholarship to study the history of modern Turkey at Sabanci University, Istanbul. However, things changed during her years at Sabanci and she decided to do more research on the early-modern Ottoman urban history. Her MA thesis, “The rich and the poor: wealth polarization in late eighteenth-century 'Ayntab” focuses on wealth distribution in the town of ‘Ayntab (Gaziantep), located today’s Turkish-Syrian border. Using Ottoman probate inventories and court records, she depicts a socio-economic portrait of ‘Ayntab and the correlation between wealth and social status in the late eighteenth century. Before joining the Ph.D program at Queen’s, she worked as a researcher at a project on “Distribution of Wealth in the Ottoman Empire, 1450-1850,” that funded by Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TÜBİTAK). Her doctoral dissertation, “Beyond ‘the Desert and the Sown’: Peasants, Pastoralists, and Climate Crises in Ottoman Diyarbekir, 1840-1890” addresses the consequences of climate change on the nineteenth-century Ottoman Empire and examines the relationship between pastoralists, peasants, the state, and climatic crises provoked by El Niño Southern Oscillation. Zozan’s study is one of the first research that depicts the consequences of the nineteenth century climatic crises in the Middle East in general and Ottoman Empire in particular. In addition to the Middle Eastern Environmental History, her research covers to social and economic history of the Ottoman Empire, urban-rural relations, pastoral nomadism, animals, and diseases in the world history. 
Zozan joined the Indian Ocean World Centre in July 2016. She is currently working on her first monograph, entitled “Climate and Conflict: Agrarian Transformation, Global Trade and the Effects of EL Niño in the Western Indian Ocean” (Kurdistan, Iraq, Yemen, Jordan, and Iran). She incorporates the findings of her dissertation into a larger western Indian Ocean framework to understand the combined impact of global – particularly British imperial – trade and climatic crises affected pastoralists between 1840 and WWI. 
“Climate Crises in the Tribal Zone," in progress.  
“Abandoned Villages in Diyarbekir Province at the end of the ‘Little Ice Age,’” in Yaşar Tolga Cora, Dzovinar Derderian, and Ali Sipahi, eds.’ The Ottoman East: Trans-regionalism, Fluid Identities and Local Politics in the 19th and 20th Centuries, (New York, London: I. B. Tauris, 2016), 223-246.
“Bayezid 1877: Egemen Anlatıda Görünmeyen Katli̇am,” [Bayezid 1877: The Invisibility of a Massacre in the Dominant Narrative] in Fikret Adanır and Oktay Özel, eds., 1915: Siyaset, Tehcir, Soykırım (İstanbul: Tarih Vakfı Yurt Yayınları, 2015), 84-91 [in Turkish]
Select Awards
Queen’s University, Department of History 2015-16 Dissertation Prize – ‘Honorable Mention’
The IHR Mellon Fellowship for Doctoral Research in the Humanities, Institute of Historical Research, University of London, 2011-12
Research Fellowship, Research Centre for Anatolian Civilization, 2011-2012 (declined)
Invited Talks
“Drought, Crop Failure, and Famine: The Resilience of the Ottoman State," University of Toronto, Departments of Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations Centre for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies, Toronto, Ontario – March 2016.
“A petition from Academics and violence in eastern Turkey,” Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario –  February, 2016.   
“Revisiting Ottoman History: The Environment as a Historical Agent,” Ankara Social Science University, Ankara –  December, 2014.
“Reflections on a Rebellion: The Construction of State Power through Waning Local Authorities in Diyarbekir,” Kurdish Studies Conferences II, İsmail Beşikçi Foundation, Boğaziçi University, Istanbul – June, 2014.
“City, Tribe and Regional Economy of Diyarbekir, 1700-1850,” Institute of Historical Research (IHR) Seminar Series, University of London, London – November, 2011.
“20 para per kıyye: state efforts to contain locust infestations in nineteenth century Ottoman Kurdistan,” Middle East Studies Association 50th Annual Meeting, New Orleans, Louisiana – November, 2016.
“El Niño in the Ottoman Empire: State Responses to Late Nineteenth Century Droughts in Kurdistan,” Empires of Water: Water Management and Politics in the Arid Regions of China, Central Eurasia and the Middle East (16th-20th centuries), Lingnan University, Hong Kong – May, 2016.
“State-Tribe Relations and the İhtilal of 1819 in Diyarbekir,” Middle East Studies Association 47th Annual Meeting, New Orleans, Louisiana – October, 2013.
“The Trace of Social Stratification in Eighteenth-Century ‘Ayntâb”, McGill- Queen's Graduate Conference, McGill University, Montreal – March, 2010.
“The Rich and the Poor: Wealth Polarization in the Late Eighteenth Century ‘Ayntab”, 24th Middle East History and Theory Conference, University of Chicago, Illinois – May, 2009.
Contact Information
Indian Ocean World Centre
Peterson Hall
3460 McTavish Street, Room 100
Montreal, Quebec, H3A 0E6