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Yaron Ayalon
Ball State University (Muncie, IN 47306-1022)
Autonomous and Integrated: Jewish Life in the Ottoman Empire

A book-length social history of the Ottoman Empire from the 16th through the 19th century, based on a study of Ottoman Jewish communities.

I am seeking NEH support in writing my second book. It will be a social history of the Ottoman Empire from the sixteenth to the nineteenth century explored through the prism of its Jewish communities and focusing on such issues such as leadership, taxation, literacy, charity, and inter-communal relations. The book will consider key and misunderstood questions in Ottoman Jewish historiography; further our understanding of Jewish-Muslim relations; and explore everyday life in the Ottoman Empire from new angles. It will be based mostly on primary sources from the National Library of Israel in Jerusalem and the Ottoman archives in Istanbul. I have already carried out most of the research and published some preliminary findings. I will complete a first draft of the entire manuscript during the fellowship year. The book will serve historians and students of the Middle East, Ottoman Empire, and Jewish-Muslim relations.

Project fields:
Jewish Studies; Near and Middle Eastern History

Fellowships for University Teachers

Research Programs

$50,400 (approved)
$50,400 (awarded)

Grant period:
8/1/2016 – 7/31/2017