Fall 2023 - HIST 456 D100

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

Class Number: 3581

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Sep 6 – Dec 5, 2023: Wed, 2:30–5:20 p.m.

  • 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) 15%
  • 16-page, double-spaced term paper* (due in class, Week 13) [* 16 double-spaced pages of text plus a bibliography] 30%
  • One three-page and four two-page, double-spaced response papers 25%
  • Participation 20%



All course materials will be available electronically through the SFU Library website. 


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Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity website http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating. Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

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Students with a faith background who may need accommodations during the semester are encouraged to assess their needs as soon as possible and review the Multifaith religious accommodations website. The page outlines ways they begin working toward an accommodation and ensure solutions can be reached in a timely fashion.