Fall 2019 - HIST 456 D100

The Late Ottoman Empire: State, Culture and Social Transformation, 1750-1923 (4)

Class Number: 4995

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Sep 3 – Dec 2, 2019: Tue, 1:30–5:20 p.m.

  • Instructor:

    Thomas Kuehn
    1 778 782-3310
    Office: AQ 6238
  • Prerequisites:

    45 units including nine units of lower division history. Recommended: HIST 151 and 249.



Focuses on major issues and trends in the history of the Ottoman Empire from the mid-eighteenth century to its demise in the aftermath of World War I.


This seminar focuses on the discussion of major issues and trends in the history of the Ottoman Empire from the mid-eighteenth century to its demise in the aftermath of World War I. More specifically, this course examines the ways in which Ottoman state and society tried to cope with and were transformed by the imperialist encroachments of various European powers and the increasing incorporation of the empire into the world economy from the mid-eighteenth century. In this connection we will look, for instance, at projects to reinvent the empire as a supra-ethnic nation-state and at major urban centers such as Istanbul and Beirut as important sites of social, economic, and cultural change. Moreover, we will explore various internal and external factors that led to the dissolution of this multi-religious and multi-ethnic empire into a post-imperial order of nation-states. Here, we will pay particular attention to the Ottoman Empire during World War I. The emphasis of this course will, therefore, be not on “events” but rather on the historiographical problems and debates reflected in our readings (e.g. what new forms of identity and subjectivity emerge during this period? Who shapes the modern Ottoman state?). This should enable you to develop a better understanding of the issues that historians not only of the late Ottoman Empire but also of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries in general are dealing with.


  • One-page, double-spaced term paper proposal (due in class, Week 5) 10%
  • Three-page, double-spaced term paper outline (due in class, Week 8) 10%
  • 16-page, double-spaced term paper* (due in class, Week 13) 35%
  • One three-page and four two-page, double-spaced response papers 25%
  • Participation 20%
  • [* 16 double-spaced pages of text plus a bibliography]



M. Şükrü Hanioğlu, A Brief History of the Late Ottoman Empire.

Donald Quataert, The Ottoman Empire, 1700-1922.

Salim Tamari, Year of the Locust. A Soldier’s Diary and the Erasure of   Palestine’s Ottoman Past.

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