Vefa Erginbas

Associate Professor

Contact Information:


Ruane Center for the Humanities 136


Ph.D. - History; The Ohio State University

Brief Biography:

Vefa Erginbas is a historian of the Ottoman Empire in the pre-modern period (1300-1800) with broader interests in the history of the Islamic world. Erginbas' scholarly contributions grew out of his interests in the historical writing, intellectual and religious history of the Ottoman Empire.

Erginbas' earlier work dealt with the first Ottoman printer and polymath, Ibrahim Muteferrika (1674-1747), as one of the forerunners of somewhat difficult-to-define Ottoman Enlightenment.

Erginbas' most current interests culminate in the recently published work that deals with the questions of sectarianism in the Ottoman Empire in the early modern period and the phenomenon of ahl-al-baytism which refers to broader reverence among the Sunnis extended not only to Prophet Muhammad's immediate family but also to the Twelve Imams of Shiism.

Erginbas is the editor of Ottoman Sunnism: New Perspectives (Edinburgh University Press, 2019). His articles and reviews appeared in The Journal of Economic and Social History of the Orient, the International Journal of Middle East Studies, and the Journal of the Ottoman and Turkish Studies Association.

At Providence College, Erginbas teaches undergraduate classes on the history of pre-modern and modern Middle Eastern history, reading and writing about history, and a comparative Muslim empires seminar on Ottomans, Safavids, and Mughals. He also teaches graduate seminars on early and Medieval Islam, Ottoman and Safavid Empires, historical methodology, and the History of the Modern Middle East.

Erginbas is a regular member of the rightly famed Development of the Western Civilization program and an at large senator of the PC Faculty Senate.

Area(s) of Expertise:

Early Modern Ottoman Empire
Modern Turkish History
History of the Middle East

Selected Publications:

Erginbas, V. (2021) Review " The Crisis of Kingship in Late Medieval Islam: Persian Emigres and the Making of Ottoman Sovereignty by Christopher Markiewicz". (12),

Erginbas, V. (2020) In Tijana Krstić and Derin Terzioğlu (Ed.), Reading Ottoman Sunnism through Islamic History: Approaches toward Yazīd b. Muʿāwiya in Ottoman Historical Writing.

Erginbas, V. (2019) Ottoman Sunnism: New Perspectives.

Erginbas, V. (2017) Problematizing Ottoman Sunnism: Appropriation of Islamic History and Ahl al-Baytism in Ottoman Literary and Historical Writing in the Sixteenth Century. Journal of Economic and Social History of the Orient.(60), 614-646.

Erginbas, V. (2013) Enlightenment in the Ottoman Context: Ibrahim Muteferrika and his Intellectual Landscape. Leiden; Boston: Brill

Selected Presentations:

Erginbas, V. Deutscher Orientalistentag. Freie Universitat Berlin , Berlin, Germany - "Reading and Writing Islamic History in the Early Modern Ottoman Empire" September, 2022

Erginbas, V. Rethinking Nationalism, Sectarianism and Ethno-Religious Mobilisation in the Middle East . University of Oxford, Oxford, England - "Bridging the Sunni-Shi‘ite Divide: A Historical Look at the Appropriation of the Twelve Imams in the Ottoman Empire" January, 2018

Erginbas, V. Rethinking Ottoman Sunnitization Workshop. Central European University, Budapest, Hungary - "Reading Ottoman Sunnism through Islamic history: Approaches towards Yazid b. Muawiyah in the Ottoman historical writing before 1650" August, 2017

Erginbas, V. 14th International Conference on Ottoman Social and Economic History (ICOSEH). Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski, Sofia, Bulgaria - "From Sirat to Ghaza: Recontextualizing Mustafa Darir’s Siretü’n Nebi in the Sixteenth Century Religious Milieu” " July, 2017

Erginbas, V. Middle East Studies Association Annual Meeting. MESA, Boston - "Reappraising religiosity in the reign of Murad III: Mustafa Darir’s Siretü’n Nebi and its unspoken content" November, 2016

Erginbas, V. Middle East Studies Association Annual Meeting. MESA, Denver, CO - "Paper: Many Faces of Ottoman Sunnism: Apporoaches toward Yazid b. Muawiyah in Ottoman Literary and Historial Writing" November, 2015

Erginbas, V. 11th Great Lakes Ottomanist Workshop (GLOW) . , SUNY-Oswego - " “Ottoman Universal Histories: What do they tell us about the Ottomans’ view of the world,”" May, 2015

Erginbas, V. Middle East Studies Association (MESA) Annual Meeting, . , Wasghington, DC - " “Ottoman Sunnism Contested: Ahl al-baytism in Ottoman historical writing to 1650,” " November, 2014

Erginbas, V. Ciepo-21, 21st Symposium of the Comite International Des Etudes Pre-Ottomanes Et Ottomanes (Ciepo) . , Budapest, Hungary - " “Problematizing Ottoman Sunnism: Ahl al-baytism in Ottoman historical writing, 1300-1700" October, 2014

Detailed CV
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