The David and Catherine Cuthell Summer Research Fellowships in Turkish Studies

Columbia University’s Sakıp Sabancı Center for Turkish Studies is pleased to announce its annual Summer Fellowship competition for students in any area of Turkish Studies, including the study of Turkish-speaking peoples from ancient periods to the modern as well as the study of cultures and civilizations in the former territories of the Ottoman Empire and within the borders of the modern Republic of Turkey. Each fellowship carries a stipend of up to $3,000 and is designed to support library, archival, and collection research in Turkey of no less than one month during the summer of 2022.  Language training in Modern Turkish/Ottoman may be supported if qualified research needs can be demonstrated.

All undergraduates, MA students, and first through sixth-year PhD students in the Humanities and Social Sciences Division of the School of Arts and Sciences at Columbia University are eligible to apply as long as they are in good academic standing.

Students who have received a Sakıp Sabancı Summer Fellowship previously may re-apply, but at equal qualification priority is given to first-time applicants. Fellowship funds may not be used to hire third parties to conduct on-site archival or field research for the fellowship recipient.


Students who wish to apply should submit the following to [email protected]

  • CV
  • A statement (up to 500 words) explaining their research project, as well as a one-page appendix describing the research schedule, a timetable for the project’s completion, and the field research activities (e.g.,  the library, archival, or collection resources to be accessed, or the individuals to be interviewed).
  • Amount requested and detailed budget, including other sources of funding if applicable
  • Undergraduate and MA students must also submit a letter of recommendation from a faculty member.

The deadline for the submission of the application is Monday, April 25, 2022.

The successful applicants will be notified by May 10. 

(Students who will graduate in May 2022 are not eligible for the fellowship.)

In case the pandemic continues to prohibit travel to and onsite research in Turkey, applicants are asked to identify alternatives to onsite research or to outline how they would conduct their projects from remote locations.  Online language programs may be supported if the pandemic continues to prohibit travel and study abroad.

The call for applications can also be viewed here.

Sakıp Sabancı Center Summer Fellows

Yasemin Akçagüner
Department of History
Project: Celestial Bodies:  Imagining the Ottoman Lifetime in the Corpora of Astral Science and Medicine (1785-1883)

Elif Irem Az
Department of Anthropology
Project: The Disaster is (Not) Over: Coal, Labor and Life in the Soma Province, Turkey

Bailey Barnard
Department of Art History and Archaeology
Project: Royal Posturing: Staging the Hellenisti Ruler in Portraits and in Person

Azat Bilalutdinov
Department of History
Project: activity of consuls as powerful agents of the Russian imperial policy in the Balkans and Anatolia (1856-1914)

Alaa Aly El-Shafei
Department of Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies
Project: Genealogies of Punishment in the Middle East: Prisons, Debt, and Labor in Late Ottoman Egypt, 1805-1882

Nada Khalifa
Department of History
Project: Fact-finding Missions and the Politics of Evidence in Egypt and Bilad al-Shām (1908-1923)

Nancy Ko
Department of History
Project: Nested Nostalgias: Violence and the Making of “Oriental” Jewish Identify Politics

Yasemin Akçagüner
Department of History
Project: The relationship between changing notions of “time” and “science” in the late-eighteenth and early-nineteenth century Ottoman Empire

Erik Blackthorne-O'Barr
Department of Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies
Project: The effects of cultural alienation and linguistic homogenization in the 20th century Turkish Republic and Pahlavi Iran.

Nancy Ko
Department of History
Project: Ottoman Omissions: Jewish Belonging and the Politics of Nostalgia in the Post-Tanzimat Middle East

Ararat Şekeryan
Department of Slavic Languages and Comparative Literature
Project: Iraida Barry and the Russian Moment of Istanbul

Deborah Sokolowski
Department of Classical Studies
Project: Culture and Countryside in Roman Bithynia

Erhan Tamur
​​​​​​​Department of Art History and Archaeology
​​​​​​​Project: Site-Worlds: An Account of Material Lives from Tello (ancient Girsu)

Zeinab Azarbadegan
Department of History
Project: Bloodless Battles: Contested Sovereignty and Citizenship between the Ottoman, Iranian Qajar, and British Empires in Nineteenth Ottoman Iraq

Sahar Mor Bostock
Department of History
Project: History of Technology and Infrastructure in the Arab Provinces of the Ottoman Empire During the Nineteenth and Twentieth centuries

Matthew Ghazarian
Department of Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies
Project: Famine and Sectarianism in the Ottoman Empire, 1839-94

Aseel Najib
Department of Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies
Project: The Relationship between Politics and Law in the Early Abbasid Period through a Study of Land Taxation

Orçun Can Okan
Department of History
Project: Coping with Transitions: The Connected Construction of Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, and Iraq (1918-28)

Ali Uğurlu
Department of Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies
Project: Intellectual and Social History of the Late Ottoman Empire and Early Republican Turkey - the Emergence of the Secular Read through the Prism of Capitalization 

Marlow Davis
Department of Slavic Languages
Project: The legacy of White Russian emigration to Turkey following the First World War and Russian Revolution, with a focus on Iraida Barry

Ayşe Ercan
Department of Art History and Archaeology
Project: Fashioning a Medieval Capital: The Topography and Archaeology of the Mangana Quarter in Constantinople (843-1453 C.E.)

Matthew Gillman
Department of Art History and Archaeology
Project: Medieval Glass and the Aesthetics of Simulation

Selim Karlıtekın
Department of Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies
Project: Caliphate Trouble in Sovereignty’s Empire: Population, Representation and Religious Difference in Ottoman Empire, 1821-1914

Henny Ziai
Department of Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies
Project: The Politics of Taxation and Debt:Sudan under the ‘Turkiyya’