Fall 2020 - HIST 350 D100

The Ottoman Empire and Turkey (4)

Class Number: 3496

Delivery Method: Remote


  • Course Times + Location:

    Sep 9 – Dec 8, 2020: Mon, 9:30 a.m.–12:20 p.m.

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Dec 16, 2020
    Wed, 10:00–10:00 a.m.

  • Prerequisites:

    45 units, including six units of lower division history. Recommended: one of HIST 151, 249.



A study of Ottoman society and the impact of Ottoman rule in the Middle East from the conquest of Constantinople to the death of Ataturk, the founder of the Turkish Republic. Emphasis will be on the conflict between preservation and reform in the nineteenth century and on the significance of the Ottoman legacy for twentieth century Turkey and the Arab world.


This course is an introduction to the political, economic and social history of (a) the Ottoman Empire from its emergence as a major European and Middle Eastern power in the early fourteenth century to its demise in the aftermath of World War I and (b) of the Republic of Turkey, one of its principal successor states. We start by looking at the origins of the Ottomans as warlords on the frontiers of the fading Byzantine Empire in the early fourteenth century. We will then examine Ottoman expansion and methods of rule over a multi-ethnic, multi-religious empire during the fifteenth to eighteenth centuries in the wider context of other early modern polities; the lives of Ottoman women and men in both the imperial capital Istanbul and the provinces; Sufi orders and grandee households as key elements of metropolitan and provincial societies; the rise of provincial elite families to political and economic prominence and the shift from a centralized imperial structure to a conglomerate of semi-autonomous regions during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries; the making of a modern Ottoman state and the transformation of local society through the encounter with European imperialism from the late eighteenth century; the making of the Turkish Republic in the aftermath of World War I; the Ottoman legacy in Republican Turkey.

Please note that this course will be run synchronously: Our weekly lectures and tutorials will take place in real time in the Black Collaborate Ultra section of Hist. 350’s CANVAS page. However, all lectures will be recorded.


  • Mid-term examination 20%
  • Research Essay 25%
  • Final examination 35%
  • Tutorial participation 20%


Prerequisites: 45 credit hours including 9 hours of lower division History credit; Hist 151 and Hist 249 (recommended). Students who have not taken these courses should read the chapters covering the period up to the end of World War I in William L. Cleveland, A History of the Modern Middle East. 3rd edition (Boulder: Westview Press, 2004). 



 Colin Imber, The Ottoman Empire, 1300-1650. The Structure of Power.

Erik J. Zürcher, Turkey. A Modern History.

 Ahmet Midhat Efendi, Felâtun Bey and Râkım Efendi. An Ottoman Novel.

Thomas Kuehn, Courseware.

Registrar Notes:


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Teaching at SFU in fall 2020 will be conducted primarily through remote methods. There will be in-person course components in a few exceptional cases where this is fundamental to the educational goals of the course. Such course components will be clearly identified at registration, as will course components that will be “live” (synchronous) vs. at your own pace (asynchronous). Enrollment acknowledges that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes. To ensure you can access all course materials, we recommend you have access to a computer with a microphone and camera, and the internet. In some cases your instructor may use Zoom or other means requiring a camera and microphone to invigilate exams. If proctoring software will be used, this will be confirmed in the first week of class.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who believe they may need class or exam accommodations, including in the current context of remote learning, are encouraged to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112).